Monday, 14 March 2011

What Demonstration Were You at Saturday? 50,000 Protesting Privatisation or 10 Students Against Tuition Hikes?

There was a big demonstration on Saturday in Montreal--about 50,000 people in the streets protesting privatisation of public services and urging that both federal and provincial governments make better choices in the budgets they're scheduled to release next week.

We were there, and thought the crowd was pretty impressive. It included a mix of ages and backgrounds, union folks, students, old fogies, single Moms. It ended up in the street in front of the Premier Jean Charest's Montreal offices after a march which saw St. Catherine street full of marchers for blocks.

But given the political situation in Montreal and the way media are organized, you'd never know it if you were tuned in or reading to the English language press. The Gazette had a two paragraph story. "10 arrested in protest against tuition hikes" was the headline. "The protest, organized by student unions but also involving other left-wing groups, marched down Ste. Catherine St. in large numbers, disrupting downtown traffic on Saturday afternoon," it said, without mentioning any of the other very serious aims of the demonstration.

The French media were better, with Radio Canada having coverage on Saturday.
But anybody who thinks that the Two Solitudes have disappeared, or that you get a good picture of what is going on in Montreal from reading The Gazette is sorely mistaken.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Media and Government working together to criminalize dissent.
There is a statement @ Anarchist News on the events.