On August 13th 2012 students at Montreal CEGEPs (Quebec senior high schools/colleges) gathered into General assemblies to decide on maintaining the strike or going back to school. Many activist and students from Ontario made it down to help with the school blockades to join the demonstrations, including the Indignants from London ON.
The evening demo started with one CEGEP joining the demonstration, then the crowed marched to a CEGEP which was having a general Assembly. Some activists and students went into the school and up to the gym were the students were voting.
The demonstration continued on, and word had got out that some key schools had voted to go back; this definitely affected the overall mood of the rally. About 2 hours in, the police attacked with rubber bullets and tear gas, splitting the crowd into several small groups, than continued to attack the small groups till people gave up.
Many good organizers are saying all is lost, but looking into that gymnasium seeing all the students participating in a General Assembly, I thought that in itself is a huge victory. Democracy is not perfect, but at least the students in Quebec are leaps and bound ahead of us in Ontario in horizontal democracy. The model used by the Quebec students is one that encompassed accountability and empowers them, with some tweaking and time we can make it work here.
Update from Quebec: "it's possible you've heard that a number of associations, including really mobilized ones, have voted to end their strikes, which is true. Facing incredible repression, and inaccurate but terrifying threats of a lost semester or year, yeah, people will vote to strike. At this point four or five university associations and two CEGEPs - with around 25000 students total - have voted to continue their strike in the last few weeks. I've also heard that the association at UQO voted in June to continue their strike despite law 78, and that this mandate will be upheld.
To be honest, we really don't need extra bodies, or cash, or even bold declarations, although all of those things are immensely appreciated and to a degree still important. What we really need is momentum; we need you to get out in YOUR streets and we need you to show that we're not the only people capable of putting up a fight." ~Jamie Burnett
Mike Roy http://www.theindignants.org
Photos of school blockade and evening demonstration: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152001312030234.883258.784550233&type=3
Video: http://youtu.be/KfPkG_ADQKY?hd=1 <--HD video of demo
*Will have a video of School blockade up soon and will post here.