Elizabeth Leier, truthout:
On May 22, [angered by tuition hikes] nearly half a million people marched in the streets of Montreal in defiance of a recently adopted law denying protester’s civil liberties, namely the right to protest, freedom of association and of expression. A crowd made up of students, professors, children and citizens from every walk of life marched peacefully throughout the city, ignoring provisions prohibiting any deviation from the planned itinerary and disrupting the commercial and banking district. The crowd openly defied articles of Bill 78, which make any gathering of over 50 protesters illegal, and chanted for the resignation of Premier Jean Charest, who has systematically refused to meet with the students personally. Many consider that the government’s refusal to find a solution and, indeed, its increasingly repressive position have given the movement a second wind.
On Wednesday, May 23, more than 3,000 people assembled in Montreal, in Emilie-Gamelin Square for the 30th nightly protest, while throughout the city, citizens spontaneously took to the streets (in some neighborhoods, over 2,000 people) banging on pots and pans and blocking busy roads, in a situation reminiscent of the Argentinian protests of 2001. No longer just a student strike, the Maple Spring is fast becoming a widespread citizens’ revolt.
Melissa Gira Grant, truthout:
the city [of New York] has offered no explanation as to why the tools of the occupation itself were targeted in the raid [of November 15th]. Along with occupiers’ personal belongings, custom-built Wi-Fi transmitters and the thousands of books in the People’s Library were seized and, in some cases, deliberately destroyed, fed into “crusher” trucks that rolled up to the park while, inside, police pepper-sprayed and arrested those who remained. Throughout, police held the media off blocks away, preventing them from entering the scene.
The seizure of their books immediately called to mind, as Siegel described them yesterday morning in the cold and rain, “the conduct of some of the worst regimes imaginable.” As such, though the suit seeks damages in the amount of $47,000 – accounting for $43,000 for the books and $4,000 for other destroyed library equipment – Siegel explained that “it is more important for us to get into the historic record that the city cannot destroy books.”
Next steps in the suit, said attorney Herbert Teitelbaum, include a discovery process that could turn up records of the raid plan. Depositions of Mayor Bloomberg or Commissioner Kelly could also reveal the extent to which the destruction of the occupation was planned or ordered
Honestly, I don’t know why the entire population isn’t in the streets. The elected leaders are behaving with complete impunity, demonstrating complete contempt for citizens and the principles of democracy as they loot the economy. I guess things will have to crash before people wake up.