In September and early October, 2012, Quebec student activist Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois conducted a seven city speaking tour across central and western Canada. The tour was sponsored by Rabble.ca, LeadNow.ca and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada. Nadeau Dubois spoke in Toronto on October 1 at Ryerson University. You can watch his 20-minute talk here. In it, he reviews the Quebec student strike and what it achieved.
On Nov 1, Nadeau-Dubois was found guilty of “contempt of court” for words that he spoke during the course of the student strike. He will be sentenced on Nov. 9. Read an important article by Richard Fidler on the meaning of the court decision and what you can do to support Gabriel Nadeau Dubois and his legal appeal.
Students in Quebec made international headlines when they went on strike to stop a 75% tuition fee increase. In what became the longest student strike in Canadian history, Quebec students resisted police repression and a government-led attack on civil liberties. In the process, they inspired a solidarity movement across Quebec and Canada.
In response to the social crisis provoked by the strike, Quebec premier Jean Charest called a snap election for September 4 – and lost. On September 20, the Parti québécois government that was elected cancelled the fee increase and scrapped Charest’s anti-protest Law 12 – a total victory of the students’ demands.