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Toronto streets alive with solidarity

By: 
Peter Hogarth

June 5, 2012

Another night, another rally in solidarity with striking Quebec students. This time it began with people banging pots and pans outside the King Street campus of George Brown college.

The march, over 300 strong at its height, reflected the deepening radicalization going on across the city based on the inspiration and determination of Quebec students. The students, who have now been on strike for more than 110 days at this point, have voted down several bad deals from the Charest government and confidently defied the special Law 78 meant to ban demonstrations and halt resistance.

The Toronto rally saw college, university and high school students march together with postal workers, teaching assistants, professors, and community members. Clanging their pots and pans and shouting “so so so solidarité“, “education is a right, we will not give up the fight” and “stop the war on the poor, make the rich pay,” the group took over the streets and made their way to the Ryerson student centre, picking up supporters and spreading the word along the way.

At Ryerson, the speeches from the front, mostly deliverd by student representatives from CFS campuses such as York and Ryerson, reflected the radicalizing impact of the Quebec student’s brave fight. The calls were for determined organizing on campus to mobilize students to participate in democratic decision making on their campus, having a say in their schools and the funding of their education.

The mood from the front and throughout the march was brimming with optimism and confidence that students in Ontario could organize their own fight for free, accessible education. The attendents and organizers left eager to create instruments that can relate and amplify the voices of students facing down austerity.

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