The Fall 2012 issue of Our Schools/Our Selves is about the links between education and activism, but it focuses extensively on issues raised before, during and since the Québec student strike.
The strike provides us with a superb case study of how the Charest government labeled student resistance as evidence of an outmoded, entitled ideology, and then used the negative public sentiment towards students that it had itself helped fuel to distract public attention from the wider debate the students were trying to have on the effects of an austerity agenda and, more immediately, a construction/corruption scandal. In this case, it backfired. Spectacularly. And resulted in a pretty remarkable victory for progressives.
This does not mean that the struggle is over, but it is nonetheless a very potent example of what organization, research, and a clear message can do, particularly when amplified by brilliant arts and culture, and social media campaigns.
We do not move forward by “making do.” We move forward by making our voices heard, making our actions count, and demanding and fighting for a legacy we can be proud to leave — not one we hope the most privileged of us can live with. And this is the most profound of all the lessons learned from the Québec strike.
Click here to preview and order the fall 2012 issue of Our Schools/Our Selves, Ne Lâche Pas! Striking shifts in education and community activism.