8 June 2012

Defend Quebec Students!

The following statement was written by our comrades of the Trotskyist League/Ligue Trotskyste, Canadian section of the International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist).

Since their strike began in mid February, Quebec students and their supporters have faced brutal repression at the hands of the capitalist state. A recent “Request for solidarity and support” by the Legal Committee of the CLASSE student federation notes that the Quebec government’s Law 78 represents “the biggest attack on civil and democratic rights since the enactment of the War Measures Act in 1970.” As of May 18, the Legal Committee had already “documented and is supporting 472 criminal accusations as well as 1047 ticket and penal offenses.” Following the passage of Law 78 that same evening, the number of arrests has risen to well over 2,500.

The CLASSE Legal Committee adds that “those numbers only reflect those charged with an offense, without mentioning the thousands pepper sprayed and tear gassed, clubbed and beaten, detained and released. It does not mention Francis Grenier, who lost use of most of an eye when a sound grenade was illegally thrown by a police officer into his face in downtown Montreal. It does not mention Maxence Valade who lost a full eye and Alexandre Allard who clung to life in a coma on a hospital bed for days, both having received a police rubber bullet to the head in Victoriaville.” In addition, students who have called to defend strike pickets in the face of court injunctions, including CLASSE spokesman Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, face “contempt of court” charges that carry fines of up to $50,000 and possible jail time. Drop all charges against students and their supporters!

The Partisan Defense Committee—the legal and social defense organization associated with the Trotskyist League/Ligue Trotskyste—has made a donation to the CLASSE Legal Committee, and we join with the Committee in urging that trade unions, other organizations and individuals do the same. Make cheques payable to “Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante,” and send them to: ASSÉ, 2065 rue Parthenais, Bureau 383, Montreal QC H2K 3T1. “CLASSE Legal Committee” should be noted in the memo line.

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(reprinted from Workers Vanguard No. 1004, 8 June 2012)

Workers Vanguard is the newspaper of the Spartacist League with which the Partisan Defense Committee is affiliated.