This is an email I first sent to a few friends, but we live in the Facebook and Twitter era, so it’d probably be good if anyone who read my resignation letter.zine reads this “preface”.
I’m writing to share two of my recent (co-)authored – reflection – pieces on ASSÉ / CLASSE with you. I am sending this to you ’cause I (sort of) recall having a conversation with you about the “race and racism” in student movement and/or in ASSÉ / CLASSE, or you might have asked me about what it was like to work with mostly all white folks (white men) in ASSÉ upper echelons.
Here are some of the answers, which sometimes open more questions. I’m afraid they’re both in French (some of my writing in English on similar lines are linked below, if that’s any consolation..)
- Élargissons notre lutte – selon le manifeste
A short text on expanding the student movement in breadth (being in real solidarity with other struggles) and depth (going beyond the white middle class perception of a “student”): http://orientation.bloquonslahausse.com/elargissons-notre-lutte-selon-le-manifeste/
- My resignation “letter” (written in a zine format, downloadable here)
I loved doing what I was doing through out the strike, and before and after in the student movement. Honestly speaking, being elected to the Social Struggles Committee at ASSÉ / CLASSE allowed me to have a larger and wider impact throughout this period. However, as you’ll read in this resignation letter, it’s been extremely taxing. Sometimes, I seriously wonder how I lasted this long….
(If you don’t read French and if the online translate tools weren’t satisfying for you, let me know. A friend might be translating, so I can pass it on to you if and when it’s translated)
Besides these texts, there’s a lot to be said in the area of race and racism in Quebec Student movement; I have to admit what I wrote/helped write in the above mentioned documents touches mostly upon the issues that encompass my election to a committee of ASSÉ / CLASSE, thus “voluntarily” working with them over the last year.
I regret that I couldn’t directly address (yet) what was mentioned/not mentioned in this article written by Jeremie on Rabble, which in itself was a “response” to CFS’s (Canadian Federation of Students) ongoing allegation that the General Assemblies in Quebec are inherently racist. I think this subject should be addressed in a meaningful manner. Jeremie had mentioned that he’d write a followup piece to his article below, explaining and elaborating on it. I sincerely hope that he does. (My quick response to those allegations/arguments is here).
I would like to insist here that any and all of what I (co-)authored in these reflexion texts are a constructive critique of an organization (ASSÉ), which is definitely more progressive than FECQ or FEUQ, let alone CFS, which, from what I understand, is plainly an anti-democratic organization.
A friend once told me, “critique comes out of love”. In this case, I believe it to the letter. Thus, I sincerely hope that CFS (or FECQ, FEUQ or any other [less progressive] organization, in terms of direct democracy, if not anything else) DOES NOT take this critique out of context – to say that their anti-democratic practices are OK (or better) because they don’t have these issues, or anything else. I guess, in fewer words, I’d simply say, please don’t take this critique out of context.
Frankly speaking, every time someone made a blanket statement about any aspect of the student movement or of CLASSE / ASSÉ, I’ve tried and nuanced it as much as I can. One such example is posted here.
On other occasions, I’ve attempted to shed some light on the racist, sexist and classist nature of the tuition hike via my own experience and background.
Lastly, I’m sharing these texts with you because people have started talking, a newspaper covered it painting the picture they wanted, so I thought I’d send it to you with my own “preface”.