Magazine of Socialist Action in Australia

Student strikes in Quebec

Over 35,000 students in Quebec went on strike against proposed tuition hikes last month as the conservative Canadian government pursues its far-reaching austerity agenda. This round of austerity includes attacks on public services such as health and education.

By Mark Poore, Socialist Party

Student strikes have shown great potential in recent years with over 300,000 students walking out against education cuts in 2012. That phase of the struggle saw strong democratic structures established with elected leaders being accountable to the movement.

Despite opposition being fierce, the new movement has not yet broadened out. It is being guided by a sub-committee that is mostly unaccountable. Hopefully this can be rectified in the next weeks.

Much like the promise shown by the Australian ‘March In March’ movement, this round of student strikes is off to a good start but it has failed to outline clear demands and link action to a broader strategy.

In order to really challenge austerity measures the movement must challenge the logic of the profit-driven capitalist system. Ultimately we need to link up with all those affected by cuts and unite around a political alternative that represents the interests of the majority in society – not just the super rich.