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Hundreds protest student-government consultations

by admin October 24, 2010

Hundreds protest student-government consultations

by admin October 24, 2010

(CUP) 8212; Despite steady rain over 300 students protested in downtown Montreal on Thursday, calling on the provincial government to cancel a series of consultations with “education partners.”

Protesters said the consultations are illegitimate because the province has already announced plans to increase tuition in 2012.

“We want the rencontre des partenaires en education [meeting of education partners] to be cancelled immediately,” said Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, spokesperson for the Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante, the group that organized the protest.

“This is not a consultation, this is to work out the details of the tuition increase in 2012.”

ASSÉ is Quebec’s second-largest student lobby group and represents over 40,000 students at universities and CEGEPs across the province.

According to Nadeau-Dubois, the government’s “only goal is to legitimize a decision that has already been made.” Instead, he said he’d like to see real engagement from the provincial government.

The protest snaked through downtown Montreal, and several times protesters turned from streets blocked off by police escorts and headed into traffic.

Protesters also staged a brief sit-in at a Montreal convention centre, where university leaders were meeting with members of the business community.

Nadeau-Dubois said the protest at the convention centre was meant to “highlight the link between the corporatization of education and tuition increases.”

Quebec’s largest student lobby group, the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec, which represents over 115,000 students has also condemned the consultation describing the process as “frivolous” and a “PR exercise,” however the group has said it intends to participate in the consultations.

Nadeau-Dubois said that ASSÉ has planned another protest for the end of November, in front of the consultation, with the intention of shutting it down.

ASSÉ is calling for an immediate tuition freeze, followed by a decrease in tuition fees until university education is free in Quebec.

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(CUP) 8212; Despite steady rain over 300 students protested in downtown Montreal on Thursday, calling on the provincial government to cancel a series of consultations with “education partners.”

Protesters said the consultations are illegitimate because the province has already announced plans to increase tuition in 2012.

“We want the rencontre des partenaires en education [meeting of education partners] to be cancelled immediately,” said Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, spokesperson for the Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante, the group that organized the protest.

“This is not a consultation, this is to work out the details of the tuition increase in 2012.”

ASSÉ is Quebec’s second-largest student lobby group and represents over 40,000 students at universities and CEGEPs across the province.

According to Nadeau-Dubois, the government’s “only goal is to legitimize a decision that has already been made.” Instead, he said he’d like to see real engagement from the provincial government.

The protest snaked through downtown Montreal, and several times protesters turned from streets blocked off by police escorts and headed into traffic.

Protesters also staged a brief sit-in at a Montreal convention centre, where university leaders were meeting with members of the business community.

Nadeau-Dubois said the protest at the convention centre was meant to “highlight the link between the corporatization of education and tuition increases.”

Quebec’s largest student lobby group, the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec, which represents over 115,000 students has also condemned the consultation describing the process as “frivolous” and a “PR exercise,” however the group has said it intends to participate in the consultations.

Nadeau-Dubois said that ASSÉ has planned another protest for the end of November, in front of the consultation, with the intention of shutting it down.

ASSÉ is calling for an immediate tuition freeze, followed by a decrease in tuition fees until university education is free in Quebec.

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