In the spring of 2012, a massive student strike in opposition to a tuition hike, rocked the streets of the Montréal for over six months. Protests and militant street actions became part of the daily and nightly reality of this Canadian metropolis. Several times during this tumultuous spring, the numbers in the streets would reach over one hundred thousand. Police routinely clubbed students and their allies, and arrested them by the hundreds. Some were even banned from entering the city. But every time the cops struck, the student movement got bigger and angrier.
This is a story about how the arrogance of a government, underestimated a dedicated group of students, who through long term organizing laid the foundation for some of the largest mass demonstrations in Canada’s history. But it is also a story of how a crews of determined anarchists, educated a new generation of students, in the importance of owning the streets.
In Street Politics 101, subMedia.tv features some of the best footage from what some called “the maple spring.” It also features interviews with students, teachers and anarchists involved in one of the most militant rebellions in Quebec.
As a preview about the theme of my next fuckin show, I bring you Alanis Obomsawin’s “Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance” the ground breaking doco about the Oka rebellion in the 90′s. In short the racist piece of shit mayor of Oka in so called Quebec, wanted to expand the local golf course by destroying a Mohawk burial ground. The Mohawks said “Fuck that” and the legendary battle broke out. Don’t fuck around and watch this shit.
An intelligence assessment from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police that describesenvironmental activsts as posing a significant threat of violence has drawn an immediate rebuttal from Greenpeace Canada, which is cited by name in the assessment.
A heavily-censored copy of the classified report — which also covers ordinary criminal activities involving ports and waterways — was obtained by the Canadian Press under that nation’s Access to Information Act. Compiled last September by the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency, it warns of potential dangers to offshore oil platforms and shipments of hazardous matarials from “a growing radicalized environmentalist faction within Canadian society that is opposed to Canada’s energy sector policies.”
“Tactics employed by activist groups are intended to intimidate and have the potential to escalate to violence,” the report claims. It notes specifically that “Greenpeace is opposed to the development of Canada’s Arctic region, as well as Canada’s offshore petroleum industry,” and points to examples of “trespassing, mischief, and vandalism,” including recent actions by Greenpeace vessels off the coast of Greenland.
The latest spill occurred earlier this week in northeastern Alberta near the town of Elk Point, where Enbridge confirmed a spill of about 230,000 liters through its pumping station on the Athabasca pipeline. The biggest incident was earlier this month near Red Deer and Sundre in central Alberta, where 475,000 liters of oil from Plains Midstream Canada leaked, some of it spilling into the Red Deer River.
This is not the first time the Canadian tar sands giant, Enbridge, has been involved with an oil spill. In July 2010 one of its pipelines ruptured in Marshall, Michigan and spilled an estimated 819,000 gallons.
Even proponents of the Keystone XL pipeline see these incidences as worrisome, and confidence in the tar sands extraction and transportation throughout Canada has clearly been shaken. For example, Doug Bloom of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association and president of Spectra Energy said:
You’ve probably noticed a few headlines, on BI and elsewhere, about some kind of student protest for the last few months in Montreal and Quebec, just over the border in Canada.
Well yes, it’s true. Many of Montreal’s students (and there are a lot—the city has 6 fairly major universities) have been on strike for much of 2012, with multiple marches and protests throughout the year.
Honestly, we’ve perhaps shied away from reporting too much on the protests. It’s a regional issue that deals with a pretty unsexy subject (tuition fees) that arguably affect only a certain proportion of the population. If you’re reading in the U.S., and didn’t want to send your child to McGill, frankly, it might not seem so important to you.
But it is — and these facts should help you change your mind.
When it comes to politics, Canadians are generally an apathetic bunch. Often, a controversy will brew and within a week or two we forget about it and move on.
It appears Bill C-38 is one issue we’re not willing to let go.
Saturday is the one month anniversary of the introduction of the so-called omnibus budget bill, a 425-page bill that amends 60 different acts, repeals a half dozen others and adds three more. Opposition parties have repeatedly said that the bill is too big and includes changes that ought to be broken off and presented as separate legislation. But the Conservatives are forging ahead with it as-is.
While Canadians haven’t hit the streets en masse yet, they are showing their dislike for the bill even one month later. On June 4, 13,000 website owners across Canada, including the NDP, PSAC and even Margaret Atwood, will be darkening their websites in protest of Bill C-38 as part of the ‘Black Out Speak Out‘ campaign.
And political analysts also continue to speak-out against the bill.
This week, the National Post’s Matt Gurney, who could never be accused of being a left-wing radical, said the bill was “sneaky” and “undemocratic.”
The internet is the LSD of the 21st century. With its creation, great truths beautifully colourful and dark revelations have slithered and soared out of the cracks and crevasses of the dealings and imaginations of man that no one has ever heard or seen. This small contribution to the virulent habits of information especially in its golden age may inspire those who are willing to research and experience the subjects of which are most intriguing or most disturbing to the viewer.