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jacee

Quebec student strike

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Unless they obtain a unionised public sector job, that is.

Many of which likely don't really require liberal arts degrees.

Public sector cleaners and garbagemen make a very good living and those jobs don't require a lick of higher education. Or at least shouldn't.

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Unless they obtain a unionised public sector job, that is.

That thought crossed my mind when I was responding, but I didn't want to open that can of worms. It's no wonder the unions are endorsing and supporting these protests.

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The actual people committing destructive acts, sure..

That's a narrow (and self-serving) definition. The proper meaning of "hooligan" would apply to a much larger swath of people involved in these protests, including those who block roads, block the way of students who want to attend classes (and who've been given the right to do so by the courts), disrupt classes being attended by students who've no beef with the tuition hikes, etc., etc.

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Or at least shouldn't.

There are many jobs that shouldn't. Which takes me back to my earlier point about prospective university students giving serious consideration to whether or not the cost of a degree will actually be of any worth before enrolling.

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There are many jobs that shouldn't. Which takes me back to my earlier point about prospective university students giving serious consideration to whether or not the cost of a degree will actually be of any worth before enrolling.

Which is why hearing students cry that they have a right to get their useless degree for free or practically free is rather comical.

If I had my life to live again, I'd go into a trade where the expectation of gainful employment is great. Yet you still have students who think English Literature and Philosophy degrees will be worth more than the paper the it's written on after they graduate.

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[Y]ou still have students who think English Literature and Philosophy degrees will be worth more than the paper the it's written on after they graduate.

Such degrees may well be valuable once obtained, if the person who obtained the degree thought they had a fighting chance to get a job in the related field after graduation. How many positions are there out there where a philosophy degree is worthwhile compared to the number of people with philosophy degrees?

I'm also not against people getting a degree related to their career after they've been in that work for a while, decided they want to stick with it, and a university degree will help them advance. (Though, I understand that, by a certain point, kids and mortgages take up more of a person's time than they did when that person was 18.)

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I see the word "Hooligans" cropping up a lot--evidence that several here are eagerly repeating the talking points handed to them by the pundits. (Unless there's some sort of Jungian mass-consciousness on display, though surely that's anathema to the those cradling the childish myth of "rugged individualism," as if they are not really the social animal called "primates," but rather a Divine Creation....though that, too, should be problematic for the Randians among us. :) )

However, it's moot, in a way, because most of the Occupy movement agrees that a small band of destruction-minded folk are trying to ruin it for everybody.

So...some agreement at last!

Occupy ... or students?

Do you have a link? I must have missed that ...

I never got the impression that anyone was trying to ruin it for anyone else, though there are definite differences of opinions about the tactics that work.

It's the police who ruin it for everybody by punishing everybody instead of addressing the actions of the few.

They're much too quick to want to stifle legitimate protest, as if that's their job.

But it definitely isn't. Their job is to protect the right to peaceful protest.

Protest isn't a monolith all marching lock-step under the orders of a 'boss'. It's a collection of individuals operating independently.

If one motorist rams a police car, do the police try to send all motorists home?

No of course not.

If one shopper throws something at a cop, do police try to send everyone shopping on the street home?

Not likely.

So why during protests is the first reaction of police to try to disperse everyone?

Not right.

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It's the police who ruin it for everybody by punishing everybody instead of addressing the actions of the few.

They're much too quick to want to stifle legitimate protest...

It's only by adhering to your own definition of "legitimate" that you can shift blame to the police.

If one motorist rams a police car, do the police try to send all motorists home?

Depends.

If one shopper throws something at a cop, do police try to send everyone shopping on the street home?

Depends.

So why during protests is the first reaction of police to try to disperse everyone?

It isn't.

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It's only by adhering to your own definition of "legitimate" that you can shift blame to the police.

Legitimate ... I'm walking in a large crowd, protesting ... then police are teargassing the whole crowd.

I didn't do anything wrong. Didn't even see anybody doing anything wrong.

I'm protesting legally, and I'm not responsible for those who may be over that line.

That's between them and the police.

It's no reason to tear gas me, declare me to be protesting illegally. I'm not.

.

And protecting the right to free speech/assembly/conscience is police job #1.

Edited by jacee

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Legitimate ... I'm walking in a large crowd, protesting ...

The size of a protesting crowd does not indicate its legitimacy.

And protecting the right to free speech/assembly/conscience is police job #1.

Actually, it's to maintain the Queen's peace and order. That means enforcing the legal limitations on assembly when necessary.

[ed.: +]

Edited by g_bambino

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Since you framed one side of the argument with conjecture, I assumed you would hold to that conjecture.

I see you're unfamiliar with the phenomenon of understanding that one can always be mistaken. It's an important quality, even if many of us who thankfully possess it perhaps take it for granted.

Unfortunately for you (or at least for those who debate you), this astonishing lack of imagination (and basic humility) literally precludes any opportunity for an honest, serious, and civil discussion.

The "bizarre formulation" I can see is your enthusiastic willingness to concede your point, indicating either extreme fence-sitting, or more likely, the obvious attempt to make your point indirectly through false-conjecture.

Not fence-sitting; again, a civil nod to other possibilities. That's it.

As for "the obvious [sic] attempt to make [my] point indirectly through false-conjecture," I don't think you really thought this phrase through before writing it. How is the conjecture false? Because I conceded the possibility that my conjecture was mistaken? (That is, allowed the possibility that your point was correct, begging the question of why you should take issue with it.)

Conjecture, by definition, cannot be surety, and I can't imagine why you would believe otherwise.

Edited by bleeding heart

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I see you're unfamiliar with the phenomenon of understanding that one can always be mistaken. It's an important quality, even if many of us who thankfully possess it perhaps take it for granted.

Unfortunately for you (or at least for those who debate you), this astonishing lack of imagination (and basic humility) literally precludes any opportunity for an honest, serious, and civil discussion.

Not fence-sitting; again, a civil nod to other possibilities. That's it.

As for "the obvious [sic] attempt to make [my] point indirectly through false-conjecture," I don't think you really thought this phrase through before writing it. How is the conjecture false? Because I conceded the possibility that my conjecture was mistaken? (That is, allowed the possibility that your point was correct, begging the question of why you should take issue with it.)

Conjecture, by definition, cannot be surety, and I can't imagine why you would believe otherwise.

Okay, let me simplify it a bit for you. You claim to be "an agnostic on the issue". I don't believe you are, I believe you have a very strong viewpoint on the matter and big words and sarcastic speculation can't hide it.

The actual people committing destructive acts, sure...not the vast majority who aren't.

I sense a conflation of the two, which suggests a lot of weak little minds screeching the conventional nonsense. Yes? Yes.

Maybe. Or maybe those without an original thought in their heads look to the punditocracy in order to know what to post on political forums.

Both sound plausible, so I remain an agnostic on the matter.

Conjecture, by definition, cannot be surety, and I can't imagine why you would believe otherwise.

Conjecture by definition is an unproven proposition that is thought to be true.

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The problem with protestors and most people who support protestors is that they seem to think their right to protest supercedes the rights of everyone else. They'll block traffic, prevent other people from getting to work, smash and steal the private property of inustries they don't agree with, then shout "oppression! Police state!" When police are called in to protect the rights of non-protestors.

You do understand that protests aren't supposed to be convenient, right?

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Okay, let me simplify it a bit for you. You claim to be "an agnostic on the issue". I don't believe you are, I believe you have a very strong viewpoint on the matter and big words and sarcastic speculation can't hide it.

"Agnostic" doesn't denote some sort of perfectly balanced view, some lack of opinion, or of fence-sitting, as you put it earlier; for example (and to use the word in its most usual sense) most atheists are simultaneously agnostic, as Bertrand Russell explained many decades ago.

And no, that the word "hooligan" is an example of what lately has been termed a "meme" or a talking point is certainly not something that I "have a very strong viewpoint" on.

???

(And I don't know what "big words" you're speaking of, unless "phenomenon" is peculiarly obscure. :) )

Conjecture by definition is an unproven proposition that is thought to be true.

No, not necessarily, though I suppose it could mean that at certain times (for example, it seems to apply to you in this discussion, as you'll see below). Check it out. It can mean (pejoratively, as you used it) a stated idea presented without good evidence; or it can mean (similarly, but connotatively distinct) a guess or speculation.

Now, your assumption that I "believe it to be true" with "very strong" feelings is, shall we say, conjecture on your part.

But since, unlike myself, you're unable to admit that you could conceivably be mistaken, then your definition of "unproven proposition that is thought to be true" probably does apply in your case.

Edited by bleeding heart

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The size of a protesting crowd does not indicate its legitimacy.

That's right. It's legitimate regardless of size.

Actually, it's to maintain the Queen's peace and order. That means enforcing the legal limitations on assembly when necessary.

[ed.: +]

:lol:

You're going to have to show me where in the police oaths of the SPVM (Montreal police) or SQ (Quebec provincial police) it says that their first duty is to the Queen of England.

:lol:

If you're talking about the RCMP ...?

It's not their jurisdiction.

But you are right in one sense, that the RCMP is the weakest link in protection of the rights of Canadians. They only have a duty to obey "legal orders", and not much protection for disobeying any orders.

However, the RCMP got publicly skewered for acting as Harper's personal political henchmen and throwing dissenting voices out of his political rally, so I think there is much greater public awareness of the distinction now, and less liklihood that they will reoffend: The RCMP top brass had to apologize publicly for violating their oath and obeying Harper's illegal orders to interfere with the constitutional freedoms of citizens.

The G20 court cases and lawsuits may have much to say on the issue of police violations of people's constitutional rights that they are legally bound to uphold.

The police - any police, even under orders of CSIS or Harper himself - would be smart not to get sucked into Harper's culture of oppression of people's rights.

Peace and order don't come first.

Individual freedoms come first.

And that is police job #1.

And the current protests - Occupy, students, etc. - are intentionally highlighting that fact front and centre: We DO have the right to protest and we will NOT be shut down because some cops prefer peace-and-order-and-donut-time to doing their jobs protecting our rights and freedoms!

I don't know who the people are throwing stones at police.

They could be police provocateurs looking to create an excuse to disperse a protest because they want some donut time!

They could be criminals or others with personal beefs against police, using the protest as cover.

They could be Al Quaeda trying to destroy our free society by turning the police against the people and the people against the police (and it's working!).

They could be protesters using illegal methods that I don't agree with and am not responsible for.

They could be anybody, and dealing with them is a job for the police ...

But I am still a peaceful, legitimate protester and the police have no legal right to punish me with tear gas, rubber bullets and billy clubs because someone else is committing crimes.

And as the lawsuits and compensation claims against police mount up, and public pressure builds (because taxpayers are on the hook to pay for police misbehaviour) I think the police will refocus on their job of protecting the rights of individuals from state-imposed violence.

Police violence against people protesting their governments is abhorrent, and that's where we are today in Canada.

Time for the police to do a reality check.

Because police violence against legal protesters won't intimidate us but it will cause more violence against police and state: Peaceful protesters will become more militant the more they are oppressed.

Police who try to hide behind their responsibility for 'peace and order' to commit violence against innocent citizens ... are just wrong. And when push comes to shove, the government won't protect them. If police obey illegal orders to attack legal protesters ... it's all on them. Every individual officer will have to defend himself in court for every illegal action. The Sargeant, the Chief, the RCMP, Csis, or Harper himself will not protect him. It's ALL on each officer. They're the ones who will be sweating on the stand in front of the judge.

The issue isn't going away because it is THE critical issue defining a free society vs a police state.

Edited by jacee

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Now, your assumption that I "believe it to be true" with "very strong" feelings is, shall we say, conjecture on your part.

But since, unlike myself, you're unable to admit that you could conceivably be mistaken, then your definition of "unproven proposition that is thought to be true" probably does apply in your case.

And unlike yourself, I am absolutely willing to confirm that is indeed my viewpoint.

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And unlike yourself, I am absolutely willing to confirm that is indeed my viewpoint.

No, you are unwilling to concede any possibility that you're mistaken. That's where we differ.

We both agree that we were both speculating; and there our agreement roughly ends. Because, for reasons you have yet to state, you believe that since you speculated, it must be true. And that you are obliged to hold onto this faith for dear life.

That's why you insist upon redrawing the parameters of this discussion at will, up to and including my own opinion, which in your clairvoyance you perceive as something different from what I know of myself. A remarkable achievement, if only it could be taken seriously.

Perversely, you were set off on this argument by a concession. :)

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Perversely, you were set off on this argument by a concession. :)

I'm not the one dragging it out trying to define positions, both your own as well as mine. But carry on (as I know you will)...

Edited by Spiderfish

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You do understand that protests aren't supposed to be convenient, right?

Doesn't matter what protests are "supposed" to be. If me and my fellow protesters want the right to carry concealed firearms, we shouldn't go block traffic and throw feces at cops because it is inconvenient and will make the news. As I said, the right to protest does not supersede other people's rights. If a protest is popular enough, it will be inconvenient by nature.

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Doesn't matter what protests are "supposed" to be. If me and my fellow protesters want the right to carry concealed firearms, we shouldn't go block traffic and throw feces at cops because it is inconvenient and will make the news. As I said, the right to protest does not supersede other people's rights. If a protest is popular enough, it will be inconvenient by nature.

Any crowd of people assembled in the city blocks traffic. Theres nothing wrong with that at all. Sometimes the state needs to be opposed by the public, and when that happens a few of the governments hundreds of thousands of little rules might get broken.

Got forbid somebody might disobey your beloved almighty state huh?

Edited by dre

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Legitimate ... I'm walking in a large crowd, protesting ... then police are teargassing the whole crowd.

I didn't do anything wrong. Didn't even see anybody doing anything wrong.

I'm protesting legally, and I'm not responsible for those who may be over that line.

That's between them and the police.

It's no reason to tear gas me, declare me to be protesting illegally. I'm not.

jacee, you are naive and I suspect that you have had little experience with mobs - except maybe in a classroom since I suspect also that you are young. Surely you know what happens when an inexperienced teacher loses control of an unruly class. And surely you also have seen an experienced teacher arbitrarily pick two or three students for punishment. Such random punishment is not justice in any (leftist) sense of fairness. Instead, it's all about creating an incentive to quiet the others in the mob. And it usually works.

As a young boy, I recall teachers sending me to the hallway while I protested truthfully that I had nothing to do with the mayhem. "I didn't start it! I was just standing there!"

Mob rule is anarchy, the opposite of a civilized society.

Peace and order don't come first.

Individual freedoms come first.

And that is police job #1.

Individual freedoms come first?

(Aside to Jacee: You're not up to date with the progressive line in Quebec. FYI, individuals are seeking court injunctions to force Cegeps/universities to open and offer courses. In response, the strikers argue that "collective rights" are sometimes more important than "individual rights". That is, a student association should have the right to prevent individual students from receiving an education.)

Edited by August1991

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You do understand that protests aren't supposed to be convenient, right?
There is civil disobedience, and then there is smashing windows, burning cars, painting walls and preventing innocent bystanders from going about their normal business.

It's worth noting that mispending in Quebec universities, large administrative staffs, high salaries/bonuses for rectors/vice-rectors, accessibility have been chronic issues for several years. The students started "protesting" however only when the rise in tuition fees was imminent.

This fact severely diminshes their credibility among the general public; striking students appear to be just another special interest group seeking through extortion to obtain more taxpayer money. "That's a nice bridge you got there. It'd be sad if it got blocked for a day or two."

Edited by August1991

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IMHO, there are several interesting sides to this student strike/boycott.

First, it is obvious (to me, anyway) that Charest has provoked the crisis as a way to gain re-election. It moves the public debate away from corruption and creates a dichotomic (wedge) issue where Charest is on the majority side.

Second, this student strike, as usual, has brought out the old sovereignist/federalist faultline. Quebec politics are typically passionate but there is an element of frustration to this debate. Marois and PQ are on the wrong side and yet they hope so fervently that GND is la relève.

Third, the students have nevertheless succeeded in raising (inadvertently) some good questions about how society finances our education system. In Quebec, about 30% of high school students go to private, fee-paying schools subsidized by the State. (GND is such a student.) Luc Godbout presented excellent evidence that Charest's proposal would in fact favour students from low-income families, make university more accessible and benefit Quebec given federal student tax credit policies. How should we pay for higher education?

Fourth, in Canada, 15 year old Quebec students placed second to Alberta but above all other Canadian students in the OECD's PISA in Math and Language tests. (Canada in general placed very high.) Yet, about 30% of Quebec secondary school students never finish Grade 11. Among those who go to a pre-university Cegep programme, it takes almost half more than 2 years to complete a DEC. (Cegep covers the equivalent of Grade 12 and 1st year university; Cegep tuition fees are essentially zero.) In short, Quebec students seem to excel but too many drop out. And money is not the issue.

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There is civil disobedience, and then there is smashing windows, burning cars, painting walls and preventing innocent bystanders from going about their normal business.

So what's your definition of 'civil disobedience'?

It's worth noting that mispending in Quebec universities, large administrative staffs, high salaries/bonuses for rectors/ vice-rectors, accessibility have been chronic ssues for several years.

(CLASSE). It proposed a series of measures to offset the loss in tuition payments, including cutting research funding, university advertising budgets and putting a freeze on administrative wages and the construction of satellite campuses. payments, including cutting research funding university advertising budgets and putting a freeze on administrative wages and the construction of satellite campuses

...

"That's a nice bridge you got there. It'd be sad if it got blocked for a day or two."

Sounds pretty civil to me! :D

But this ...

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/quebec-students-police-battle-in-streets-150275155.html?device=mobile

The disquietude forced a nearly one-hour delay in the convention, as some delegates complained of irritation from gases that had seeped into the building.

Now that's a thing of beauty! :D

But that's just the smoke and mirrors for this ...

Amid the clouds of smoke at Friday's standoff came a sliver of light. Student leaders were convened to Quebec City for emergency talks with the provincial government aimed at ending the three-month standoff. With the semester at risk of being cancelled, the three main student groups and several union leaders were invited for talks with the government negotiators.

Because the students gave them something to work with.

So Charest's having his political charade and tear gas students for sensational effect ...

While negotiating quietly and furiously ... desperately.

.

Edited by jacee

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I'm not the one dragging it out trying to define positions, both your own as well as mine.

Yes, that's exactly what you are doing.

And I am only defining my own position...against your repeated protestations. You are providing me with your own positions...and I am taking them at face value. Is this a mistake?

But carry on (as I know you will)...

Um....perhaps you're unaware that you are responding to me literally and precisely as much as I am responding to you.....

??? Ye gods.

Edited by bleeding heart

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