Canada’s Bill 78 and Mexico 68; elites get nervous when the rabble link up…

So the Grauniad has a story entitled “Canada student protests erupt into political crisis with mass arrests More than 500 people were arrested in Montreal on Wednesday night as protestors defied controversial new law Bill 78.”

This bit leapt out at me (emphasis added)-

“I was so so scared,” said Magdalena, one of those arrested, who asked that her last name not be given. She told the Guardian that she had been taking part in the protests since February, and that Wednesday night’s action had actually seemed particularly peaceful.

“This was one of the most jovial I’ve taken part in,” she said. “We were commenting how in good spirits we were, how everyone seemed in such great energy. There were families, children, women with strollers, which you don’t necessarily see at the night protests as much,” she said.

And reminded me muchly of stuff I studied 20 years ago (!) about the Mexico City protests in 1968. The police and army only started killing people in significant numbers when the protests moved beyond students and were joined by trades unionists and “normal people.” Elites get very very nervous when that happens.

What will happen next in Canada? I haven’t a clue. If only there were a wise Canadian reader of this blog who was willing to guest-post…


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3 Responses to Canada’s Bill 78 and Mexico 68; elites get nervous when the rabble link up…

  1. yeltnuh says:

    You’ll draw all of us Canadians out with this one . . . .

  2. Sam Gunsch says:

    Escalator to the bottom: Quebec students refuse the ride
    By Christopher Majka
    | May 24, 2012

    Majka’s blog post is the best overview and analysis I’ve read that contains useful stat’s about Canada’s growing income inequality, over to decades of political control of so-called democracies by proponents of neo-liberalism (combined or hybridized with North America’s particular variant: Straussian neo-conservatism).

    Same old, same old as anywhere on the planet since 1970’s.

    It seems to me the students are continuing the Occupy story in the sense of trying to reclaim some control for citizens over the political process, and focusing on the economic policies.

    The post below explains some issues unique to Quebec, but I think the democratic malaise stuff applies generally in Canada. Citizens of any partisan stripe increasingly agree that politicians are not very responsive to the public interest. Unfortunately the hard-right, market fundamentalists here have successfully exploited this alienation.

    The Quebec protests: the big picture iPolitics Insight
    Posted on Thu, May 24, 2012, 5:03 am by Miriam Smith

    And if you care to know what the nastiest opposition to the students sounds like, and how it does so when trying to sound concerned about democracy…. then, if you have a strong stomach, try this post from someone representing the best and brightest of Canada’s Liberal party that through the 1990’s implemented Thatcher-style cuts under the cover of deficit hysteria.

    Student protests signal need for democratic reform iPolitics Insight
    Posted on Fri, May 25, 2012, 5:01 am by Zach Paikin

  3. Sam Gunsch says:

    Polling in Quebec reveals 64% disagree with students opposition to tuition hikes.

    60% disapproval for most militant of the 3 student unions, the one which has organized the most stark civil disobedience.

    Split public opinion over the new law which carries huge penalties for marches or gatherings of over 50 people which have not informed the police at least 8 hours in advance of location.

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