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Show those rioters who's fucking boss

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dcc001, May 24, 2012.

  1. Dcc001

    Dcc001
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    Montreal has been having some fun lately.

    For those of you not in the know, in a nutshell: the Quebec government raised tuition about $1700 over a five year period, meaning tuition will increase at a rate of about $350/year. The students went apeshit. They went crazy, despite the fact that even after these modest increases Quebec will still have some of the lowest tuition in the country.

    The protests, strikes and riots prompted new emergency legislation banning the use of masks while demonstrating, demanding that protests not be held close to or on government property (i.e. the campuses) and some other criteria.

    It's become really nasty.

    Good articles:

    The possibility that this could lead to a resurgence of the separatist movement: <a class="postlink" href="http://www.france24.com/en/20120524-protests-revive-debate-over-quebec-independence-montreal-students-jean-charest" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.france24.com/en/20120524-pro ... an-charest</a>

    Overview: <a class="postlink" href="http://www.torontosun.com/2012/05/24/518-more-arrests-as-montreal-police-kettle-protesters" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.torontosun.com/2012/05/24/51 ... protesters</a>

    Arrests under the new law: <a class="postlink" href="http://www.torontosun.com/2012/05/24/518-more-arrests-as-montreal-police-kettle-protesters" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.torontosun.com/2012/05/24/51 ... protesters</a>

    FOCUS: Are the students in Montreal overreacting, or are they within their rights to protest a tuition hike?

    ALT FOCUS: What measures should the government in a civil society be allowed to take to control protests? How much latitude should the masses be given?

    Obviously, parts of this debate veer into the political territory. This is not a thread to debate political party affiliation, so don't tread to far into that area, mmkay?
     
  2. Omegaham

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    I have zero problems with political protest. Protest about whatever the fuck you want, from gerbil rights to the demand that all oil company executives be forced to commit seppuku with sporks. That's a right that people have died to protect and defend, and it's a cornerstone of freedom. I'm even willing to tolerate minor civil infractions to let protest continue unhindered.

    On the other hand, I do believe that if you're going to protest, it should be organized. Do it right. Get your supporters in line. Tell the police so they can organize things on their end (direct traffic, separate the protesters from the mob of spectators, etc). Keep a constant lookout for troublemakers. Ensure that your supporters are properly briefed about what "peaceful protest" means.

    Unfortunately, way too many people go for the "Screw all that nonsense, let's just get out there and make noise" approach. And that's when riots start.

    I have zero problems with ruthless crackdowns on riots. Bring in the army, the fire hoses, the dogs, the tear gas, and the OC spray. Fuck 'em up and teach 'em a lesson. They lost their right to protest the moment that people started burning cars and looting stores. When that happens, it's the police's job to get the legitimate protesters off the streets and start kicking hoodlum ass.
     
  3. AlmostGaunt

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  4. scootah

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    Want to know why the Quebec students have the lowest tuition in the country? Because when someone tries to raise it, they go ape shit. That's the clearest example of cause and effect in the world.

    I'd consider that bullshit far more oppressive than the tuition hike. That kind of legislation would have me out on the street protesting.

    FOCUS: Are the students in Montreal overreacting, or are they within their rights to protest a tuition hike?

    Rights is a difficult question. Does anyone have the right to a government subsidized education? Assuming that the students are citizens and the children of tax payers, and presumably of age to be part of the voting population. They have a clear moral right to demand taxpayer funds be spent in a way that they approve of. I may not agree with them, but since I'm not paying for their education, who gives a fuck. The only opinions that matter in this really are those of the population that fund the education. The only time people outside of that scope get to bitch about another population's decision - is when the decisions of that population/government threaten the well being of others. And free education doesn't really stray into that territory.

    ALT FOCUS: What measures should the government in a civil society be allowed to take to control protests? How much latitude should the masses be given?

    Have police attend. Restrict disruption of business and traffic to reasonable and moderate impact. Respond to arrest people who become violent or damage property as part of their protest. But fuck you assholes. Government property is the property of the people, and anonymity isn't a crime.
     
  5. Dcc001

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    If I'm being honest, I think the part that bugs me is that it's Quebec. The most subsidized province in the country. I'm of the opinion that presently the west (mostly Alberta, but also Saskatchewan and the Territories) and certain oil-producing sectors in the Maritimes are bankrolling the country right now. So here we have Quebec, already a "have not" province, demanding indirectly that provinces who ARE generating revenue subsidize them even more.

    Maybe it's the redneck Albertan in me, but if I was the premiere I'd go in with the military, impose a curfew and fucking END it. Which I guess they did, but it took an inordinately long time to do it.

    About the masked protests:

    FUCK. THAT. NOISE.

    If you have the passion and the drive to actively protest something with your physical presence, then you ought to have the balls to show your face. When I think of a masked protester, I think of the KKK or some other cowardly group that does horrible things. I agree with the no-masks law.
     
  6. Crown Royal

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    I think that ANY student in North America should be pissed about tuition, since college fees and student loans are heartless fucking robbery. From outrageous interest to books made out of paper that cost $600, is it any wonder why it's a FACT that the average American student enters the working world over $25,000 in debt before they even have a fucking job?

    On the other hand, rioting is for fucktards and people without actual lives. Protesting should be organized and regulated by its own people. Throwing bricks through a coffee shop window is NOT how to make a point, and when those assholes in black clothes wearing their stupid masks break shit simply because they want to break somebody else's shit (it's not theirs, so why not?), THAT'S how society judges them. If I had my way, I would stack gas-soaked tires around every member of the so-called "Black Bloc" and set them on fire. Those hypocritical dingbats seem to be on some divine quest for irony, destroying businesses they bought their gear from in the first place.

    It doesn't work that way. Look at Toronto a couple years ago during the G8. The rioters were breaking shit, so the cops lost their temper and played a few drum solos on them. For this, the police were hung by their thumbs while most of the cowardly vandals that smashed stores and destroyed taxpayers' cars pretty much skated. I find it insulting that they've demonized the Toronto cops so ludicrously for it while you have outright monsters populating police forces in cities like Oakland.

    Watching so many scenes from that G8, is there any reason why the cops in Toronto wanted to whoop ass?

    [​IMG]
    Black Bloc "heroes" in action:
    [​IMG]
     
  7. ghettoastronaut

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    You realize, first of all, that not all of those cops were from Toronto. Many of them were brought in from around the province and around the country. Secondly, investigations into police actions surrounding the G20 conference have a lot more to do with a bunch of cops beating up people who were vandalizing property, and to pretend that the litany of abuses of power have everything to do with those idiots jumping on cars is silly. The cops out there proved themselves incompetent at crowd control when they needed to be (ex: why were those rioters able to jump on an abandoned police cruiser in the first place?), and thereafter, thoroughly unprofessional.



    If you want my opinion, my tuition fees for my program were $11,500 for my first year and they rose $500 every single year I was in, which I suspect was the university raising fees by the maximum allowed by provincial law each year to extract as much money as possible out of its students. They rose even higher for the new students coming in. And I got a real degree which does such things as enable me to do something useful with my life, get a job, make money, and so forth. Naturally, when all of the undergrads on campus were having days of protest about their tuition fees - which were less than half of ours - we were too fucking busy to join them. I'm not sympathetic. Also I'm going to Montreal in a few weeks and I hope this shit is cleared up before I get there, because god forbid this inconvenience me in the slightest way.
     
    #7 ghettoastronaut, May 24, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2015
  8. cinlef

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    To be entirely fair here, Quebec is not really asking for this. Equalization payments are calculated based on the difference between the per capita revenue yield that the province would collect with average tax rates, and the national average per capita revenue at average tax rates. That is, Quebec would receive the same amount, regardless of the degree to which they choose to subsidize their post-secondary education. You may disagree with the concept of equalization payments, but that's a separate issue that would involve re-opening the constitution debate. The point is, though, that Quebec isn't asking the other provinces to bankroll this endeavour; they're given the money regardless. It's just a question of how Quebec decides to spend it.
    (Incidentally, the territories are excluded from the equalization payment scheme).

    Also, living in Montreal, I can tell you that these two laws have done *nothing* to curb the protesting. If anything, they've given more momentum to the movement, since these laws are absurdly draconian in scope, and seem to have mobilized people who were otherwise unattached to the students' cause.
     
  9. scootah

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    There's a reason why V for Vendetta gets so much traction with Anonymous. It's really not hard to see the tyrannical and oppressive government depicted in the story as an 'in our lifetimes' only slightly exaggerated future if people get too tied to fear and too disconnected from the need to preserve civil rights. Especially when we start talking about draconian bullshit like banning masked protests. Really, who decides what a mask is? Do people wearing scarves get arrested at winter protests? What about sunglasses and a cap on a sunny day?
     
  10. hotwheelz

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    Serious question, do you know what Blac Bloc is? Because I don't think you do.
     
  11. rei

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    Honestly I thought they could suck it up with the tuition hike, I honestly don't think six grand a year for a school like McGill is unreasonable.

    My issue is that Bill 78 is unconstitutional and stifles free speech. Not because of the mask thing, but because it bans protests within a certain distance of CEGEP and universities, and due to their density within Montreal (there are over 150 qualifying buildings), this effectively outlaws protesting within the city - fuck that noise, as annoying as protesters are, I don't think it's reasonable to ban protesting in the second largest city in the country.

    I can't make fun of this without sounding like I'm insulting you so I'll just outright state that Quebec provides 20% of Canada's GDP.
     
  12. Crown Royal

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    Originally they came from Germany in the 1980's, protesting squatters rights and later on (and more appropriately) the skyrocketing of Neo-Nazis there. Then, at that time, they were an admirably rebellious movement.

    What the "Black Bloc" of today over seas in my neighbourhood are mostly little shits who call themselves "anarchists" and like to destroy anything and everything with a logo on it whenever aTV camera is within eyeshot. They have NOTHING to do with what took place in Germany and only ever pop up to destroy commercial businesses. During the world petrolium conference in Ottawa back in I think 2000, I was hit in the chest with a large chunk of concrete thrown by one of these "rugged heroes". Why? No reason. They were just trying to smash and burn everything in sight. That's what these so-called representitives of this movement do in North America. Break shit and set it on fire, all the while maintaining a "LET ANARCHY RULE!!!" standpoint.

    ....only Anarchy is for fools. Anarchy result in non-stop chaos, rape and murder and only the most insane and diabolical would prosper if it actually got the rear its ugly head.
     
  13. rei

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    Ever notice how few anarchists move to Somalia?
     
  14. hotwheelz

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    And... you're wrong. Blac Bloc, as you know it today, is a tactic used by certain protesters wherein they dress in all black and stand in front of marches to protect protesters. Sometimes police plant provocateurs within their ranks specifically to cause trouble, and yes I can provide evidence of that.
     
  15. silway

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    I don't know the Canadian legal landscape, but the idea of banning masks for protesting is absurd to me. Protesting is not an inherently illegal (or shouldn't be) or immoral act. People have the right to protest the government and while certain kinds of regulation are appropriate, deciding what people wear to one isn't. Not to mention, using a mask is potentially part and parcel of the message any given protester is sending and banning masks in protests is an unjustified restriction on *what* is being said, not just how it's being said.

    Now, none of that means protesters have the right to break anything and I consider it appropriate to arrest them for doing so, but preemptively requiring them to show their face openly in order to protest is excessive. It doesn't matter if it's more or less cowardly or more or less honest to wear a mask, what matters is that a government shouldn't assume that the act of protest is criminal.

    That said, I hate you all for $6,000 annual tuition. I would straight up prostitute myself for the amount of money I wouldn't have had to borrow and am paying back if I could have had 6k tuition. So, from my perspective, it seems pretty whiny to go nuts over something like this.
     
  16. Juice

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    In a democracy, people have the obligation to protest against what they think is unjust, no matter what it is. Hell, even voting is protesting. The problem is the fanatics have a tendency to take over and change the focus. Case in point, Occupy.

    As for Canada, I'd be pissed too of I were the students. Protest away. But if you want to act like a crazy anarchist and destroy property and hurt people, then riot squads should have the option to use brute force.
     
  17. Kubla Kahn

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    You do realize there have been laws on the books in America for decades banning mask and hoods at rallies/protest because the Ku Klux Klan used them to terrorize people with anonymity? It's nothing new and there are solid reason behind not letting people cause random destruction with little fear of legal reprisal. Maybe some people in anonymous use the mask as its intended comic book purpose of representing an idea more than a person. Many of the hooligans torching cop cars and hurling bricks didn't give a fuck about the root idea, they just want to stay out of jail while they get to destroy stuff. The Klan used mask for fear these rioters use them to skirt the law.

    I'd be all for letting people protest at federal buildings if it is peaceful. If there was a history of violence and destruction on the protesters part I might be behind not granting them access for a protest. If they end up destroying shit, that is put right back on the tax payers, why should everyone have to foot the bill for their destruction?


    Maybe the argument should be, when is it necessary to become violent/destructive in the face of what ever cause you are fighting for? At what point are the offenses so egregious that they warrant violent outburst? Are these students really at the least resort and the only possible way to show their grievances is destruction?
     
  18. Cult

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    Focus: I think they are overreacting to the tuition hike, not to the infringement upon their rights. $1700 per year over a 5 year period really isn't that big of a deal, but they're well within their rights to protest and frankly I'm glad to see peaceful demonstration because it shows that people actually care and pay attention to what their government is doing.

    Alt Focus: This is a tricky issue. Being a military man (admittedly a POG) part of me says that when these people get out of line they need to be given the smack down. Once people start rioting, causing damage and people get hurt the police (NOT the military) need to step in and regain control of the situation and I'm not opposed to them using violence to do so, but they really need to think before acting. I'm not saying that cops wantonly beat the ever-loving shit out of people (although it has happened) but I think it's easy in a stressful situation to get caught up in the moment and perhaps not make the best decision or have to make a decision in a split second based on instincts. Often times I find myself siding with police for their actions and I think protesters and media throw them under the bus, but it's important for the people to police actions of the police. Military intervention should be a last resort as I think the military should only be used on enemies of the nation, and protesters do not fall in that category. Advising police? Fine. Providing logistical support or surveillance... eh. Once boots are on the ground a line has been crossed.

    As far as the mask thing goes, I believe people should be allowed to wear masks. I also believe peaceful protesters need to be more proactive in reporting illegal activity, even to the point where they physically detain criminals when in reason. They have made leaps and bounds in this area already, I know this, Twitter and other social media has been a great asset, but more needs to be done. When those douche bags smash cop cars or loot shops they are also damaging the credibility of all the other protesters and what they are fighting for.
     
  19. lhprop1

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    I would say it's more an effect of the Quebecers holding onto their French heritage and throwing up the white flag whenever confronted with a threat or a bit of opposition.
     
  20. Dcc001

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    This is an excellent point. Everyone remember the idiots in Vancouver who rioted when the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup last year? I don't see much difference in the behavour there vs. the behaviour of students wearing masks, smashing windows, interrupting classes and in general bringing the city to a halt. All so that they can continue to get more subsidies and pay less out-of-pocket expenses. Universities cost money to maintain and run...who, exactly, should be paying for that? At what point should you be expected to kick in more for your own education?

    We had a talk about this last week at work; you would think Montreal, of all places, would endeavor to curb this. In 1989 some nutcase entered the Ecole Polytechnique and massacred 14 women(he shot 28 people total) with a rifle. Fast forward to 2012 and some classes are carrying on peacefully while the protesters are protesting. Imagine how the teacher and students felt when suddenly the door burst open and masked protesters flooded the room, grabbing the teacher and yelling "We're on a fucking strike!". Can you imagine if someone tried that shit at a school in Columbine? How much sympathy would the "strikers" draw?