Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Silence Is Deafening

Remember how the media initially refused to acknowledge the thousands of people protesting in cities all over the country in the Occupy Movement? How they tried to make it go away by pretending it didn't exist? Well, it's happening again, and this time what's being ignored is north of the border:
On an unseasonably warm day in late March, a quarter of a million postsecondary students and their supporters gathered in the streets of Montreal to protest against the Liberal government’s plan to raise tuition fees by 75% over five years.  As the crowd marched in seemingly endless waves from Place du Canada, dotted with the carrĂ©s rouges, or red squares, that have become the symbol of the Quebec student movement, it was plainly obvious that this demonstration was the largest in Quebec’s, and perhaps Canadian, history.

The March 22nd Manifestation nationale was not the culmination but the midpoint of a 10-week-long student uprising that has seen, at its height, over 300,000 college and university students join an unlimited and superbly coordinated general strike.  As of today, almost 180,000 students remain on picket lines in departments and faculties that have been shuttered since February, not only in university-dense Montreal but also in smaller communities throughout Quebec

The strike has been supported by near-daily protest actions ranging from family-oriented rallies to building occupations and bridge blockades, and, more recently, by a campaign of political and economic disruption directed against government ministries, crown corporations, and private industry.  Although generally peaceful, these actions have met with increasingly brutal acts of police violence: Student protesters are routinely beaten, pepper-sprayed, and tear-gassed by riot police, and one, Francis Grenier, lost an eye after being hit by a flashbang grenade at close range.  Meanwhile, college and university administrators have deployed a spate of court injunctions and other legal measures in an unsuccessful attempt to break the strike, and Quebec’s premier, Jean Charest, remains intransigent in spite of growing calls for his government to negotiate with student leaders.

So, why haven’t you heard about this yet?

While the Quebec student strike is comparable in scale to student movements in Europe and Latin America, it is entirely unique in the context of Canada and the continental United States, which makes the absence of media coverage outside the province puzzling at best and disturbing at worst.
The Biggest Student Uprising You’ve Never Heard Of (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

What if the media isn't there to inform at all? What if it's true role is enforcing normalcy and making sure people think that everything is actually all right and it is only they who are out of sorts?


  1. "What if it's true role is enforcing normalcy and making sure people think that everything is actually all right and it is only they who are out of sorts?"

    Welcome to Joe Bagaent's Hologram enforcing Kunstler's Consensus Trance.

  2. Not to mention Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent.

  3. A picture from last night in Montreal...

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Some coverage from the BBC:

    Scores held as Montreal student protests turn ugly

    Another example of authoritarian capitalism at work.

  6. LOL! My comment was deleted! I guess some voices are greater than others.

    1. The identity seemed like a bot to me. Are you a real person? If so I apologize.


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