ASSE (Association for Solidarity Among Student Unions) / CLASSE (Large Coalition of ASSE) English newspaper, April 2012. PDF of this newspaper is available on Stopthehike.ca
On General Assembly
- For all students to be empowered and have a voice.
- A general assembly allows for:
- direct democracy – everyone can express themselves and have an equal say
- local sovereignty within the association
Confrontational (Combative) Syndicalism
The CLASSE*, as a temporary structure built upon l’Assocation pour une Solidarité Syndicale**, subscribes to confrontational syndicalism [syndicalisme de combat]. This movement affirms that the state and local administrations are, by definition, opposed to our interests. The state is not a neutral entity in which all stakeholders exert equal influence: rather, it must be seen as subordinated to certain lobby groups, particularly the employers’, which reach across party lines….
Higher Education – and immigrants – are not market commodities
Despite its claim to multiculturalism, Quebec is becoming an increasingly hostile environment for international students. Since 2008, the provincial government has been allowing universities to increase international tuition fees by 10 per cent per year. The worst of these hikes came in the 2008-2009 school year, when Quebec completely deregulated international tuition fees in six programs – meaning universities could increase fees for these students as high as they please.
Some universities did not have the basic decency to warn international students of increases as high as 50 per cent, with serious consequences.
Concordia University MBA student Mahmood Salehi came here two years ago from Iran with his life savings. The April 2009 acceptance letter from Concordia stated that “the fees for the John Molson MBA Program for the academic year 2009-2010 are approximately $13,700.” He planned accordingly. It was tight, but he could just make it.
Why the strike is our ultimate “weapon”?
An Unlimited General Strike gives students maximum leverage to make their demands heard. It is a way of getting the government to listen to students, while giving students real leverage when it comes to negotiations. It is a way for students to gain visibility, both in the media and among the public, to debate and to let their demands be known. Students who oppose the tuition increases may have great arguments, but these arguments can’t spread and take hold until a substantial movement captures popular attention.
More articles from the English Ultimatum will be posted here soon. For a paper copy of the newspaper, please visit GSA.