Students in the Canadian province of Quebec have gone on “strike” over the regional government’s austerity plans. They are also calling for an end to the use of fossil fuels.
Around 45,000 students in the ASSÉ student union walked out on Monday of last week.
Daily protests have been met with heavy police repression, with police using baton charges and firing teargas at protesters.
One woman was left with severe burns when a police officer fired a teargas cannister in her face from point-blank range.
The movement is similar to Quebec’s Maple Spring of 2012—a “student strike” which lasted several months and stopped a planned rise in tuition fees.
But the scope of this new movement is much larger. And there is the possibility that workers could join the fightback.
The Liberal government’s budget is based on severe public sector cuts to health, education and social services.
Quebec unions and other groups held large protests against the anticipated austerity plans last February.
There is also the possibility of a major union confrontation in the public sector.
The Front Commun—a new coalition between unions—means student calls for a “social strike” could become a real possibility.
A Quebec-wide anti-austerity protest was set to go ahead on Thursday of this week.
It is set to be followed by a climate march in Montreal on 11 April and a mass protest on May Day.