What's Left 2016-10-30 Volume 79

Student Day of Action: All Out November 2; Rage boils over in Québec; Nouvelle droite: Québec's right wing rears its head; UK court rules uber drivers are employees

Page content

“Student Day of Action: All Out November 2”

On Wednesday, November 2nd, the Canadian student movement will take to the streets to demand universal access to post-secondary education. The day of action, organized by the Canadian Federation of Students, will demand the elimination of tuition fees.

It is no secret that youth face an unprecedented challenge to access stable, full-time employment, quality public services, and a life free from the shackles of debt. It is only through this kind of direct action that students will make their concerns matter to the political elite and affect history.

We should join them in the streets. All out November 2nd!

Sign the pledge to demand universal access to college and university

Find an event near you.


“Rage boils over in Québec”

Anger reached a high point in Québec this week following recent occurrences of violence against women. Many cases of violence and rape culture hit the media in October, leading to province-wide rallies. The first instance occurred on a post-secondary campus. An investigation was launched after 11 night break-ins were reported at a student residence at Université Laval. Four of the break-ins were being considered cases of sexual assault.

Secondly, a Member of the National Assembly (MNA), Gerry Sklavounos, was forced to remove himself from the Liberal caucus to sit as an independent after a woman came forward with accusations of sexual assault. Predictably, the media focused their questions on the woman’s arguments in an attempt to discredit her claims and story.

Finally, 41 police officers have sued Radio-Canada in Val d’Or after the public broadcaster ran a story about widespread sexual assaults of Indigenous women in the northern community. This story shocked the public last May when it first came to light by the reputable investigative reporting show Enquête. However, the police force has taken the position that the damaged reputation of 41 young white officers is more important than the lives of Indigenous women living with the consequences of violence by the so-called authorities. categories: [“What’s Left”]

Like many before, these cases have highlighted the lack of support for women navigating the judicial system in cases of sexual assault and rape. While many voices have vocally supported the women involved, the stories have instigated widespread victim-blaming, denial, and hate over the province’s airwaves.

Last week, more than 2,000 rallied against rape culture in Montreal, as well as Québec, Sherbrooke, Saguenay, and Gatineau. The rallies have opened up media space to talk about consent, respect, and other basic principles that are always broken when violence against women is at play.

Follow: #StopCultureDuViol

2000 manifestants à Montréal pour dénoncer la culture du viol


“Nouvelle droite: Québec’s right wing rears its head”

The right-wing in Québec have been inspired by the anti-immigrant and xenophobic discourse of Marine LePen of the Front National in France. A former member of the Parti Québécois has started a local version of the Front national party, making a series of islamophobic promises.

History has shown only socialist organizing can effectively answer this kind of fascist movement. It will be no different in Québec.

Quebec now has its own far-right National Front party


“UK court rules uber drivers are employees”

In a ruling that will affect 40,000 Uber drivers in the UK, the Central London Employment Tribunal has determined that the drivers are employees of the company and entitled to the “national minimum wage, holiday pay, sick pay, and other benefits”. The victory is the result of a lawsuit launched by members of the GMB union.

Calling Uber’s defence “ridiculous”, the Tribunal stated that one of the tests of self-employment is whether an individual can negotiate payment with their clients. Uber drivers cannot.

Court: Uber drivers are company employees not self-employed contractors