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Montreal Simon: Thank Goodness I’m Not a Harper Conservative

Gawd. What a week. I'm working like a dog, all I want to do is sleep, Spring STILL hasn't arrived !!#@!!And of course, because it's still Harperland, the stench of rancid pork hangs heavily in the air.As Great Hoggy Leader sets out to try to buy the votes of some Canadians with OUR money, . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Thank Goodness I’m Not a Harper Conservative

Montreal Simon: Saving Our Democracy: When the People Awaken

As Stephen Harper drags our parliament into the pit of democratic depravity, by accusing the NDP of supporting an imaginary carbon tax only he can see.

Repeating a Big Lie over and over again like a shameless con man, or a desperate maniac. Going after Tom Mulcair, as one pundit put it, with a . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Saving Our Democracy: When the People Awaken

Montreal Simon: The Occupy Movement and the Quebec Students

It's been almost a year since the Occupy Wall Street movement was born, and in this very gloomy article Gerald Caplan wonders where it went.

It flashed through our lives like a comet in the sky, illuminating the most insidious development of our time. Then just as suddenly it flamed out and died. Or . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Occupy Movement and the Quebec Students

Montreal Simon: The Quebec Election and the Angry Canadians

On a sunny afternoon, in my favourite Montreal neighbourhood, both the Quebec election and the hysterical reaction in English Canada, seemed very far away.Which was a good thing eh?Because following the election campaign from Toronto and a beach in Maine, has been very exhausting. And the reaction in English Canada has been entirely predictable . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Quebec Election and the Angry Canadians

Montreal Simon: Big Daddy and the Quebec Election

Well there he was the old smoothie, on day one of the campaign, sitting in his comfy chair in his big blue bus. The one with the slogan For Quebec.

Trying to explain in his Big Daddy knows best way, why he called a summer election.

Because you know, he's a good . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Big Daddy and the Quebec Election

Montreal Simon: The Quebec Students and the Occupy Movement

It was such an awesome sight. Tens of thousands of people marching through the street on a muggy Montreal afternoon.

To show their support for the student movement, denounce a fascist bill.

And show Jean Charest and his corrupt government that they are still THERE. Read more » . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Quebec Students and the Occupy Movement

Montreal Simon: The Quebec Students and the Road Ahead

There are fewer of them these days. The long hot days of July have quietened things down.

But the Quebec students are still marching through the streets of Montreal.

Tonight was their 83rd nightly demo in a row. And next month they will have to make a choice that could determine the future . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Quebec Students and the Road Ahead

Montreal Simon: Quebec and the Movement That Will Not Die

In the last few days right-wingers in the media and the twittersphere have been going around claiming that the Quebec student movement is running out of steam.

And if you read this story you might think that was true.

Large daytime protests are being held in Quebec today, just as they have for each . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Quebec and the Movement That Will Not Die

Montreal Simon: Quebec and the Betrayal of the Young

I like the words on this mural at the East side gallery in Berlin. "If they don't let us dream, then we don't let them sleep."

Because the day we stop dreaming about a better world, is the day that we start dying eh?

And those who would betray the future don't deserve to sleep . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Quebec and the Betrayal of the Young

Montreal Simon: The Quebec Students and the Magic Moment

Like so many things in Quebec these days it was an amazing sight.

Eighty thousand people in downtown Montreal watching an outdoor show by Loco Locass, a very popular and very political hip hop group.

The group was dressed in red and waving a Quebec flag with a red square sewn on it to . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Quebec Students and the Magic Moment

Montreal Simon: The Quebec Students and the Little Red Square

The Grand Prix of Montreal is finally over, and sadly my favourite driver Anarcho Panda, the gentle mascot of the student movement, didn't win.

And although there were a lot of red squares and red Ferrari shirts at the race.

If you wore a red square anywhere near the Grand Prix activities you risked . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Quebec Students and the Little Red Square

Montreal Simon: Montreal and the Grand Prix Circus

It's Saturday night in Montreal, and the Grand Prix party is just warming up. Thousands of people are milling around on Ste Catherine street.

Demonstrators, racing fans, tourists, party kids, riot police.

And I'm watching the live feed on CUTV and can't believe what I'm seeing. So I can understand why some tourists . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Montreal and the Grand Prix Circus

Montreal Simon: Jean Charest and the Grand Prix Panic

Oh no. Somebody please stop him. It looks as if Jean Charest has finally, as we say in Québec, perdu ses pédales, or lost his pedals.

He's so eager to discredit the students, so he can run against them in a snap election, he's accusing them of plotting to sabotage the Montreal Grand Prix. . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Jean Charest and the Grand Prix Panic

Montreal Simon: Quebec: When a Society Wakes Up

It was wet and miserable in Montreal today. But that didn't stop thousands of people from attending a rally to support the Quebec students.

Thousands of people clad in raincoats and carrying umbrellas gathered in Montreal's Jeanne-Mance park Saturday afternoon for what was billed as a family-friendly protest in support of Quebec's students . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Quebec: When a Society Wakes Up

Montreal Simon: Quebec’s Mad Emperor Strikes Again

They don't call Jean Charest the Mad Emperor of Quebec for nothing eh?

For this is madness.

Four days of negotiations ended in an impasse on Thursday when Premier Jean Charest’s government refused to budge on its plan to increase tuition fees.

It was likely the last chance for an immediate resolution to . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Quebec’s Mad Emperor Strikes Again

Montreal Simon: The Casserole Protest and the Two Solitudes

As a guy who has one foot in each solitude, I know that the Québécois tend to be a little more exuberant than Canadians in the rest of the country.

Especially when it comes to sex, or standing up for their rights. Or beating casseroles in the street in the middle of a raging . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Casserole Protest and the Two Solitudes

Montreal Simon: The Quebec Students and the Occupy Movement

On my way home today I visited the park where Occupy Toronto once lived. And I could hardly recognize the place.

The old gazebo where so many passionate speeches were made, and so many dreamed of a better world, was quiet now.

And where there were once tents huddled together in the cold…Read . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Quebec Students and the Occupy Movement

Montreal Simon: Quebec, the Con Media, and the Greek Obsession

It's funny eh? When I see pictures like this one I see people standing up for their rights, telling a corrupt government to take their fascist bill and shove it, or just joining others to demand a better world.

But most of the Con media only seem to see a mob, dangerous terrorists, and . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Quebec, the Con Media, and the Greek Obsession

Montreal Simon: Quebec and the Not So Quiet Revolution

There was another amazing freedom party in Montreal tonight.

Thousands and thousands of people marched peacefully through the streets, beating pots and pans. Defying the police to arrest them for taking part in an illegal demonstration.

And what struck me the most apart from the incredible energy, was the diversity of the protesters. Now . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Quebec and the Not So Quiet Revolution

Montreal Simon: Quebec and the Spirit of Resistance

A massive thunderstorm hit Montreal this evening. The heavens really opened up.

But that didn't stop thousands of people from parading through the streets, beating their pots and pans.

Even though in a city full of riot cops armed with a fascist bill, anything could happen.

More than 2,500 people have been arrested in . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Quebec and the Spirit of Resistance

Montreal Simon: Quebec: The Mad Emperor and the Klown Media

They were out in the streets of Montreal again tonight, for another casserole protest or cazerolazo

The 31st night protest comes as a growing number of Montrealers join a neighbourhood-wide cazerolazo – casserole protest.

Since the weekend, hundreds of people in the island's central neighbourhoods have taken to their balconies, porches and . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Quebec: The Mad Emperor and the Klown Media

Montreal Simon: The Casserole Symphony and the Royal Canadians

In many Montreal neighbourhoods this evening people were banging pots and pans in another casserole symphony of protest. The latest tactic in this awesome struggle.

It's a nightly ritual known as les manifs aux casseroles, that sees hundreds of people step out of their homes, armed with pots and pans. At the stroke . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Casserole Symphony and the Royal Canadians

Feminist Mom in Montreal: Breaking the law to protect future generations

As I’m sure most of you know, Montreal now has a bylaw banning masks at protests. Mayor Gérald Tremblay asks, “When a cause is just, why is it necessary to hide behind a mask?” When asked about protestors who use masks to protect themselves from teargas, a lawyer representing the police said that teargas is . . . → Read More: Feminist Mom in Montreal: Breaking the law to protect future generations

Feminist Mom in Montreal: Breaking the law to protect future generations

As I’m sure most of you know, Montreal now has a bylaw banning masks at protests. Mayor Gérald Tremblay asks, “When a cause is just, why is it necessary to hide behind a mask?” When asked about protestors who use masks to protect themselves from teargas, a lawyer representing the police said that teargas is only used at protests that have been declared illegal. There are, of course, reasons other than hiding your identity and protecting yourself from teargas to wear a mask and one of those reasons is being adorable.

Hey Charest! You’re a big LOSER!
My son Eliot breaking the law at yesterday’s demonstration.

Okay, so teargas is only used at protests that have been declared illegal, but when is a protest declared illegal? According to Quebec’s new loi 78, if there are 50 or more people and the police did not receive notice in writing with a map of the route eight hours in advance, the protest is illegal. Loi 78 does not comply with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and we cannot sit back silently while it is enforced. We cannot hide inside while terrasses full of innocent bar patrons are attacked by the police, elderly people are penalized for honking in support of protestors,  and unarmed protestors are pepper sprayed in the face. This is not the kind of future that I want for that little panda up there, or for the other children in Quebec.

There are many legitimate reasons to oppose the tuition hikes in Quebec that existed even before loi 78 and the voice articulating these reasons should not be silenced. The need to stand up to this special law is urgent. It is not just the students who are impacted by the new restrictions; Jean Charest’s government is punishing Quebec as a whole for the student demonstrations and Quebec is taking notice. Louis Masson, president of the Quebec Bar Association, called the bill “a breach to the fundamental, constitutional rights of the citizens.” The union representing STM bus drivers has denounced loi 78, asking bus drivers to refrain from driving riot police to demonstrations and reminding them that they have had protests in the past which would now be considered illegal under the special law.

If we don’t speak up, we are sending the government the message that we’re okay with laws like this, so stand up and let them know that we’re not; future generations are the ones who will suffer if we are silent. Defy loi 78, join the protests, and show the government that we will not be bullied into following ridiculous laws.

. . . → Read More: Feminist Mom in Montreal: Breaking the law to protect future generations

Montreal Simon: The Day They Turned Montreal Red

And so it came to pass. On the 100th day of their amazing struggle, they refused to be intimidated by a totalitarian bill, and turned Montreal RED.

A sea of students, their numbers swollen by trade unionists, teachers and other supporters, flooded through the streets of Montreal in a massive turnout marking the 100th . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Day They Turned Montreal Red