INFINITE SOLIDARITY WITH A CALL FOR INFINITE GENERAL STRIKE
ACTIONS IN NYC ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 23, 2012:
6pm: Night School in Solidarity with the Quebec Student Strike
Washington Square Park, Manhattan
8pm: March Against Police Oppression
Meet in Washington Square Park, Manhattan
(reconvergence at Union square)
10pm: Night School at Union sq.
WE MARCH AGAIN!
May 22 marked the 100th day of the ongoing Quebec student strike, one of the largest student mobilizations in history. Demonstrations against the massive tuition hikes (which would increase tuition by 60% over five years) occurred daily across Quebec, with over 160,000 students on “infinite strike.” Last Friday, the Quebec government enacted a draconian emergency law (Bill 78) intended to break the strike. The legislation in effect outlaws public assembly, imposes harsh fines for strike activity and criminalizes protest, just as the struggle is gaining popular support and escalating to unprecedented levels. Many are questioning the law’s constitutionality.
Bill 78 summary:
· Fines of between $1,000 and $5,000 for any individual who prevents someone from entering an educational institution.
· The fines are higher for student leaders (up to $35,000) and for unions or student federations (up to $125,000). Fines double with repeat offenses.
· Authorities must be notified at least 8 hours in advance about public demonstrations involving more than 10 people. Organizers must provide the start time and duration of the demonstration, as well as the routes of any marches.
· No on-campus protests. Protests outside universities must stay at least 15 feet from entrances.
· Encouraging someone, explicitly or tacitly, to protest at a school is subject to punishment.
No More “Good Faith”
The government of Quebec has conceded the power of the students by suspending the current semester, while the education minister has been forced to resign amid the crisis. The Quebec Premier Jean Charest claims that the government has negotiated in “good faith,” but the student unions say that the government has refused to budge on the central issue: TUITION HIKES. Students are fighting to maintain affordable, accessible higher education for all the people of Quebec. The crisis has put into question the political future of the Premiere’s Liberal Party and his own career. Civil liberties in Quebec are being fundamentally undermined. “Good faith” is dwindling between the people and the government.
What Is An Infinite General Strike?
The infinite strike is a voluntary and collective cessation of activities in order to assert claims that would not be addressed otherwise. The word “infinite” points to a confrontational stance with the government. It does not mean that the strike is limitless, but that its length is undetermined in advance. This means that the strike goes on until demands are met or until the body decides to stop the strike. In the case of Quebec’s student mobilization, the students meet every week to decide whether to continue the strike. The educational system is a crucial part of the economy and it requires human capital in order to function. Only through a strike is it possible to create the institutional congestion generated by a whole cohort of students that may not graduate. That is why an open-ended general strike is such a powerful weapon.
Why the Quebec Student Strike Matters For NYC
We are all in the red! In Quebec strikers, demonstrators andsympathizers alike have shown their solidarity through the emblem of a red square, signifying a state of “being in the financial red”—untenable student debt.In the United States, the Federal Reserve recently stated that student debt stood at $870 billion, while the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (a new government agency regulating private student loans) estimated that it had already surpassed $1 trillion. As more and more students stand up and organize against exorbitant escalations in tuition and debt, similar draconian laws have been passed in the US. Unprecedented levels of police brutality have been perpetrated against student uprisings across New York City—at Baruch College, Brooklyn College and the New School, just to name a few. The state seeks to silence these students, many of whom have been arrested on trumped up charges that reek of biased intimidation.
It would appear that we too are in the red, both financially and politically. This is untenable. It is time that we stand in solidarity with students in Quebec and across the world to fight for our right to free education. On May 23rd we in New York City continue our solidarity and stand with the infinite strike. Our demonstration in solidarity with Quebec students is also in defense of our right to assemble and protest. An increase in the powers of the police and the state anywhere is an attack on us everywhere. State repression exists globally and it is unjustifiable. We will not stand by and watch our already limited voices be silenced even more. The warnings and fear mongering of new protest laws being enacted in Frankfurt, Chicago and Montreal will not deter us. The new laws only prove that our mass mobilizations are a threat to the powers that be. We will be heard. We will take part in our own lives and not be pawns for the workings of capitalism. Our rights are not given to us by governments but established by us. OUR LIVES ARE NOT NEGOTIABLE!
Call to Students, Workers and Debtors of New York
With call on students, workers and debtors from all walks of life to stand with us in our right to assemble and dissent in our commons, against police brutality and intimidation. There is nothing to fear or be ashamed of in this. There is only strength and solidarity for us to find each other. As we stand with the students of Quebec, we acknowledge their grievances, and join their chorus with our own. As Quebec does not stand down, neither will New York. We are not afraid, and see no limit on the horizon. All we see is red!
WE ARE ALL IN THE RED!
—New York, May 21st, 2012
Organized by folks from Strike Everywhere and Occupy Wall Street
As a man whose penis cannot reach his anus, I am unable to comply with your requests. I also do not own a fedora, and if that was meant to be some form of insult, it was rather sad. Feminists, or people who identify themselves as such, are rarely TRUE feminists, BECAUSE they believe in equality for all. Equality = Egalitarianism.
Read sometime, it’s good for the soul.
To think that a force for equality means giving equal attention to problems of those with privilege as those who are oppressed is to ignore the fact that those systemic inequalities exist to begin with. The fact of the matter is that cis-men hold privilege over people who identify as women - to give both groups’ issues equal attention is to uphold that inequality. If we want to gain any kind of equality, we need to address issues proportionally. Especially considering how many problems faced by men are caused by patriarchy to begin with.
Take your own advice, dudebro. Take a minute to actually research feminism beyond what Merriam-Webster and the first paragraph of a wikipedia article can give you. Excluding one gender’s issues is necessary when that gender’s privilege is the source of the inequality at hand.
You can’t bring about an equal world by pretending you live their already.
Recently a bill was introduced in the senate that would require the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share of taxes, the bill would also eliminate tax loopholes for big businesses. It’s no surprise that our senators (many of them in the top 1 percent) didn’t pass this bill. Here is a list of senators that voted against the bill and how you can contact them. Please write at least a few of these senators everyday, and hopefully we can get this bill re-introduced and passed. Remember that you have to be the change you wish to see so you can’t sit there and expect other people to write these senators it has to be YOU that does it. Here is the letter that I sent to every senator:
Hello, I am emailing you because recently a bill was introduced that would require some of the wealthiest American citizens to pay their fair share of taxes. Those funds could be used to pay down some of the federal debt, and could be used for education, or helping our homeless veterans, or any number of good causes which is why I believe you should re-consider your vote on this bill. I can not understand why anyone would oppose making some of the most fortunate Americans help some of the most unfortunate Americans, or at the very least make these Americans pay a little more than the average citizen.
Here is a list of the contact information for all senators who voted against this bill: