Until now, I haven’t commented on the madness happening in Montreal streets concerning tuition hikes. I haven’t commented because my feelings about the tuition hikes, and the resulting student strikes and protests, are, as a friend recently described his own, “nuanced.”
I am not in principle opposed to tuition hikes in Quebec. I AM opposed to wasteful government and university spending, and I am most certainly opposed to the ludicrous Loi 78, a “special law” passed a few days ago which severely restricts the public’s right to protest. This law, an attempt to quell increasingly fevered demonstrations around the city, has made things much, much worse, and it’s hard to believe that the provincial government actually thought the effect would be otherwise. (Everyone else in the province seemed to understand, as soon as the law was proposed, that it was a really bad idea.)
I mostly haven’t commented because I haven’t felt clear enough about the issue to put my feelings into words, especially my feelings that I wasn’t entirely on the side of the people protesting. So I was relieved, today, to come across this elucidation by (formerly local) curmudgeon, protesters’ darling, and wonderful writer Mike Spry. He’ll break it down for you:
At the end of his post, he explains the problems with the student argument and the perspective that the students needed to take from the beginning in order to win public sympathy. It is helpful to anyone who feels conflicted. I’m still not entirely clear about my position (except my position that Loi 78 is a stupid, stupid law – who does that?) Spry’s article, however, has articulated a few things I wasn’t able to straighten out for myself.