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Casseroles across the country

Valerie Lannon, Faline Bobier

June 17, 2012

Valerie Lannon, Victoria

The student unions of the University of Victoria and Camosun College organized a 150-strong casserole march on June 9. Student speakers praised the Quebec movement for inspiring action across the country in support of lower or no tuition fees.

The keynote speaker was Tara Ehrcke, head of the Victoria local of the BC Teachers Federation, which is in the middle of its own job action against the BC Liberal government. The crowd cheered at Ehrcke’s announcement that the BCTF is donating $10,000 to the Quebec student movement. Ehrcke emphasized that public education is a public right that should be free at all levels. She denounced the austerity measures being pursued by so many governments and applauded the fight back shown by the Arab Spring, Greek and other European workers, the Occupy movement, and of course “le printemps érable”.

Faline Bobier, Toronto east end

On June 13, for the third week in a row, community members in Toronto’s east end gathered for a solidarity casseroles with students in Quebec and to target Stephen Harper’s omnibus bill.

The casseroles was small but spirited, with activists handing out about 100 red squares and many leaflets to advertise the weekly event to participants and passers-by. Many people were receptive to the message, particularly to the placards which targeted Harper.

One long time community activist reported that the reaction from passing cars and pedestrians to his sign ‘Stop Harper’ was probably the most positive response he’s had in 30 years of organizing. Small sparks can be the first steps in building the coming battles against the Harper government.

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