This is quick response I’d written on Facebook in response to CFS’s allegations that the general assembly structure is racist, therefore they don’t want to adopt it.
“[CFS] hide their own inability to consult with their students (or their fear of being held accountable) behind the false notion that allowing everyone a chance to speak is somehow racist. Granted there are shortcomings in the GA structure – regardless of race or sexual orientation, some people may not be inclined to take a vocal part in a GA, but that doesn’t mean that they (CFS) should continue to work in an anti-democratic manner.
As a person of color who was actively involved during the strike, I think the issue is not whether there was problems related to people (marginalized voices) getting left behind of not finding a place among mostly white dominant spaces (Corey put it well in their first comment). The real issue is CFS using this argument to remain anti-democratic, continue with their status quo (that is top down management, so on and so forth. perhaps someone with more experience of CFS can elaborate this part).
I see it as more of a continuum of progressiveness (“radicality” and direct democracy) – There are extremely right wing student federations such as OUSA and CASA, CFS falls to the left of them. They’re more progressive then the other two (and actually want to fight against the tuition hikes, from what I gather). To the left of them, or at about the same place is FEUQ and FECQ. Then comes ASSE/CLASSE. To the extreme left, so to speak, would be an organization that’s anti-racist, anti-colonial and such.
Now saying that since CLASSE (and student movement) and it’s direct democracy structure didn’t address issues and race and privilege is ok to say, but if comes from CFS, then it’s not ok.
This article sheds some light on the issues of race and racism in the Quebec Student Movement: http://www.newsocialist.org/index.php/627-race-racism-and-the-quebec-student-movement