The latest moves are really disgusting. A large group of students entered classrooms, confronting those who wanted to go to class, canceling classes through their physical confrontation. Apparently, these folks are fighting for a fundamental right to education--for free tuition--and find it necessary to violate this right to education for those who are interested in partaking of that "right" right now.
The key here is that today's events are not driven by random protesters but by some significantly organized group--there were apparently more than a hundred students that were in this effort to shut down classes. They knew their way around UQAM. While the student groups that have been doing most of the bargaining and protesting can claim that they are not responsible, their refusal to condemn these activities, their refusal to respect the court injunctions, and their refusal to, well, have a decent grip on reality have created this environment. It is time for them to "seize the moral high ground" by calling for their supporters to step down and stop protesting. Otherwise, they will continue to be blamed for the efforts of what "a few" who are clearly tied to the movement. This is not four folks throwing smoke bombs but a much larger effort.
Today's protest involved assaulting students and violating injunctions. These protesters should be arrested and do more than a few token days. It is time for them to face some severe consequences in $$ and jail time. It is one thing to be in the streets for weeks, but it is another thing to break the law repeatedly (violating injunctions) and intimidate classrooms of students and professors.
This is getting out of hand. If the goal of these folks to to alienate everyone, then they are accomplishing their mission. But there is no way that the government can give into this. If they do so, then their sole claim to their current standing goes poof.
And, yes, I am glad I am getting out of here.
Given that the "student movement" seems to be pretty well fragmented, one wonders who the government can really negotiate with. If I'm the Quebec government negotiating with a group of students, but there's another group of students not represented at the table who will continue throwing smoke bombs/disrupting classes/what have you out there somewhere, why am I wasting my time talking with people who can't "deliver" their side? There is almost no way for a negotiation under such conditions to succeed. Maybe this is just negotiating for side benefits - so the government can be seen as "doing the right thing", so that when the students have thoroughly alienated everybody and the government REALLY cracks down, they can say, "we tried to do this the right way."
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