Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Quebec students defy protest control law

A good post from Common Dreams on how students protesting against austerity in education are refusing to obey a new law under which you are only allowed to protest where the police say you can. There is also now a website where people can assert their right to protest, called "Someone arrest me!"

The new law also closes 25 higher education institutions until August in a pretty overt admission that the state has no actual answer to student protest other than to ban it, send students home or use rubber bullets, tear gas and noise bombs.

The Real News Network has a great video (with transcript) of the protest against the law. Thanks to the new law, this protest was also the largest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history and probably one of the largest anywhere.

And look here - it didn't take long at all for the police to become unable to enforce the law. Which isn't strange at all when you think that the reason freedom of assembly etc. has become a right is not because governments like the idea but because in many countries they can't actually prevent people from assembling freely. It doesn't stop them trying every so often - and it becomes important to "take the liberty" once again. Of such things are human rights made.