Never Been In A Riot
While I was installing my exhibition en région shit has hit the freaking fan in Montreal. Depending on where you are you may have heard about the now 15 week long student strike in Quebec and the over 2500 arrests of protesters , and even bystanders.
I started this post over a week ago and just come up blank each time because the whole situation is so frustrating from the corruption of the provincial government , to the distortion and lies in the media to the polarizations on every level. Shit is out of control with cops pepper spraying bar patrons who happen to be near a protest . I spend my days brimming with anger , yelling at the radio.
So what the fuck is all about? Well In a nutshell is started over proposed tuition of 75% over the course of 5 years. Students were told to suck it up and do their part while our publicly funded universities where losing 400 million on failed real estate ventures or paying more than 4 million in severance packages to administrators over 3 years and our elected official were involved in collusion and kickbacks with the mafia for provincial construction contracts.This and ranging unemployment/underemployed and wages stagnated since 30 years is the backdrop against with students were supposed to “chip in”. Nevermind that they will be chipping in plenty to sustain retiring boomers once they enter the workforce. Now of course , the issue is much more global with people of all ages joining in , protesting against the tide of neoliberalism , corruption and Bill 78. Bill 78 , meant to quell protest via fear and intimidation has actually galvanized things and now it seems like everyone is pissed and taking to the streets.
But there is some inspiration too , Lawyers taking to the streets in protest of Bill 78 , #casserolesencours , the nightly neighborhood protests of pots and pans and seeing pretty much everyone around me me getting politicized. While marching in Rimouski, we got cheered on by strippers and a bouncer smoking behind a strip club , my neighbors banging pots and pans and hanging banners, a red square get you a thumbs up at the supermarket. It actually seems like many of us are on the same side and that’s pretty neat that despite all the anger at the government and institutions and pundits , it feels like the entire
city province is coming together.
So what now?
Translating the printemps érable is the key spot to get articles and texts that have been translated into English and is updated daily , Juripop are offering legal aide to many arrested in the protests and are always in need of donations and there is a huge Canada-wide (plus NYC & Paris & London & Brussels & Madison!) casserole protest tonight , make some noise against Bill 78.
“”We’re banging pots and pans
To make you understand
We gonna bury you man”