What I Learned from the Quebec Student Movement

Decades from now when historians look back on our time it will be hailed as the Second Wave of the Victorian Era. Now this time was only called so due to the reign of Queen Victoria. A wonderful bold woman, seen as both a feminist and not, since she sought to be involved in politics, even though she wanted other women to remain their position be at home.

Quebec from Parliament Buildings - 1908

Technology has advanced faster within the past one hundred years than any time in history, although have we managed to keep pace? Open your window and look around. There are still the same issues there were when my great-grandfather left Italy to escape the rule of oppression. He arrived here as a young man with hope, like most of European descent.

Let me ask you a question by breaking the third wall and the distance from reader to author. I see what is happening. Everyone sees it but no one can bring the words together.

Children are no longer subject to hard labor since their tiny fingers could fit inside machinery.

Women have the same opportunities as men.

Education is not only accessible to the wealthy.

The days of people being publicly executed to show others an example of not questioning authority are over.

I cannot fathom saying these statements in a straight face.

Look at your cellphone. How does it work? Well, it functions by a mineral (coltan) found in Congo that children in this country dig out from mines. Without this mineral they wouldn’t work.
Quebec has established the Pay Equity Act, but you wouldn’t know it since on average Canadian women only make 75% of what men earn. Also, one cannot walk a mile without seeing an advertisement involving the obvious, but don’t say that to the new MNA who sought to pose for a magazine to gain the female vote.

To be honest, I spent my time protesting for accessible education, but would trade my books for a tube of lipstick any day.

Speaking of education, there is a concerning trend among the younger generation, who currently believes that posters and picket lines will get attention. The 30,000 who marched in the streets of Montreal exactly one year today clearly gained more than they bargained for- not only was the tuition increase abolished, but somehow I began to see that honestly, my sheltered childhood did protect from the dangers and that questions are impolite. Especially since bliss is simpler.
November 10, 2011 - The first major protest of the movement
What it did not protect me from is a fallen government that didn’t expect it had to listen to the people who slipped ballots into a pot nine years ago. We understood the power of words…

To say that education is accessible is saying that global warming is a part of Greek mythology. If you cannot see the issue, does it exist? It is therefore surprising that a rational person would even believe in the existence of oxygen.

For months there were claims from media across the country that Quebecers somehow are not productive, since we are the province with the highest amount of welfare. So I was shocked to learn that over 50% of Quebec students work on average 20hrs per week while attending school.

There are many things the newspapers outside would be stunned to learn, if their journalists were to visit every now and then. Somehow though, the local media remains just as clueless. It was only reported this week that university money is mismanaged, as it took Premier Pauline Marois to note so with “secret” documents. If student associations were saying the same thing all along, then they must be psychic.

I somehow feel a metaphorical noose tightening, don’t you? And so does a certain former co-speaker, as every speech he ever made is being analyzed, nitpicked and studied to scramble for proof he did the unthinkable- develop an opinion.

‘Tis a new age though. All in favor say “aye”. Those opposed will not have their editorials published, at least not with any mainstream media. On Friday Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois received a pre-sentence of either 150 hours of community service or one month in prison. His lawyer, Giuseppe Sciortino, deems this unacceptable.

What is the evidence? For one, they have been analyzing his speeches. While there are certain harsh statements that should or should not have been said, let me ask another question. Does anyone remember April 20th at Palais des Congrès when Jean Charest mocked students while many were being brutalized outdoors, his words reducing the movement to teen angst?

Did any of the students do the same to him that Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is enduring at this moment? No.

Did anyone condemn the Republican Party in the United States when candidates claimed woman’s pregnancy through assault is “God’s will”? No.

Did anyone condemn scientists when it was discovered in 2011 that there were contaminants in snow nearby the oil sands? Yes. The researchers were discouraged from speaking to journalists.

In the Victorian Era, children were seen and not heard. Ironically, the people above are not children, so why are we not heard?

I wonder if Apple will make an app for truth.

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