In the interest of posteriority and some history, I’ve uploaded Concordia and the student movement – what you should know flyer that we distributed to students at the back-to-school time of September 2012. The text of the flyer is reproduced below. [the version on the http://concordiastudents.ca/ had links to all the facts mentioned in the flyer.. .............]*
Concordia, September 2012 flyer:
MAKING HISTORY: In winter 2012 Concordia students made history by being
the first anglophone institution in Quebec to have a general unlimited (open- ended)
student strike. Francophone universities and CEGEPs have chosen to
go on strike 9 times since the 1960s.
DIRECT DEMOCRACY : Concordia students voted at general assemblies of
their departments and faculties to go on strike and also voted on how the
strike would be enforced – including what kind of picket lines, how to treat
labs and studio sessions, and whether to withhold assignments.
The associations on strike held general assemblies on a weekly basis
to decide the continuation of the strike: any member had the right attend,
discuss, debate and propose motions.
BUSINESS AS USUAL: Despite this unprecedented strike movement,
Concordia administration adopted a policy of “business as usual” choosing to
ignore and repress the movement. They hired more security contractors and
in one instance a female student was assaulted by one of these guards. On
March 23rd the administration released a letter encouraging the political
profiling of students on strike.
REPRESSION: The results of the March 23rd letter were profound. Students
took pictures of and videotaped other students, as did the security guards.
Many students were charged under the university’s Code of Rights and
Responsibilities for their political activity and as of September 5th, 2012,
many still have pending charges. Overall Concordia spent almost $250,000
on security during the strike.
DIPLOMAS NOT EDUCATION: Despite the fact that some in departments 5
weeks of 13 week courses did not take place, Concordia pushed ahead with
exam period as scheduled, making no accommodations for make-up classes.
“The professors are in the best position to decide how to evaluate the
courses,” said then-President Lowy in his first dialogue with the students, 6
weeks into the strike and only two days before the exam period began.
RESULT: Course content was dropped. Exams were re-written and curved.
Quality of education was compromised. Concordia got paid. Credits were
awarded. Business as usual.
GENERAL ASSEMBLIES CONTINUE THIS FALL The student movement
continues, and Concordia students are again coming together to
democratically make decisions about their collective futures and the direction
that education is taking in this province under the hand of neoliberalism.
For more information: FreeEducationMontreal.org** | ConcordiaStudents.ca
* Interestingly enough, we seem to have lost access to Concordiastudents.ca website which chronicled the amazing and successful mobilization at Concordia despite the authoritarian presence of CSU (a member of FEUQ, hard not to mention it here). The interesting part of all this is that the site (that is the domain name in question) was “owned” (bought and paid for by) now a Vice President of FEUQ (master of all authoritarian organizations… coming from my experience, mind you). Thus, I’m really (really?) doubting why the site is down……
** Although the flyer refers to Free Education Montreal site, for some strange reason I (or anyone else) had not posted the flyer text on that website…… we used it more for background info through out the strike and later.
footnotes dated: 2nd April 2013