Occupy World: Mass Student Protest Turns into a Nation’s Struggle for Identity

Occupy World: Mass Student Protest Turns into a Nation’s Struggle for Identity


The student movement against tuition fee hikes in Canada’s French speaking province of Quebec has turned into an identity struggle less than two weeks ahead of parliamentary elections.

The movement has gained momentum and transcended its initial aim.

On Wednesday, thousands of protesters took to the streets in the city of Montreal, shouting slogans against the Liberal government of Jean Charest, the premier of Quebec, prior to the general elections that will be held on September 4.

The vote will decide whether the province’s ruling Liberal Party, which insists on a plan to increase tuition fees by 82 percent, could be reelected.

Since February, students have been protesting against the hikes and the provincial government’s controversial anti-protest Bill 78. However, what initially began as a student protest has now become a larger movement exposing a deeper social unrest.

“The objective was to send a message to Mr. Charest, and it’s not only a student strike, it is also a popular struggle. We see a lot of people going into streets every night in Montreal and now in all over Quebec,” Gabrial Nadeau- Dubois, former spokesman for CLASSE union, told Press TV on Wednesday.

Student leaders, Eliane Laberge from the Quebec Federation of College Students (FECQ) and Martine Desjardins from the Quebec Federation of University Students (FEUQ), have called on people to be critical of every political party in the election, saying they are confident the ruling party will not receive enough vote to be in power for another term.

“In 14 days, every Quebecer will have to assess Quebec’s Liberal Party. They will have to assess nine years. Nine years where we saw corruption increase. Nine years where we saw public services fees increase in every domain,” Laberge said.

The two leaders recently stated that they would strengthen the student movement if Charest’s Liberal Party kept its top seats in the province’s National Assembly after the elections.


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