Tuesday saw 400,000 people march through downtown Montreal against Bill 78, a law aimed at criminalising student protests that was passed last week in a special overnight session of Quebec’s parliament.
The law lays out strict regulations governing demonstrations of more than 50 people, including having to give eight hours’ notice for details such as the protest route, the duration and the time at which they are being held. If violated, it threatens student associations with fines of up to $125,000 for ‘illegal’ marches. Student groups, labour federations and a wide range of other organizations claim the law is unconstitutional and a violation of basic rights.
In the context of Australian education activism, there are crucial lessons to be learned about how to build a mass student movement. This video features some reflections from Quebecois student organisers on the strike that has been in place since February and provides a valuable point of departure for some of the discussions that will be had at EduFactory! surrounding organisation and representation.