Canadian Democracy Lessons
Overseas capitalists say that there is no democracy in Russia. That is the power of the people. Well, no, and not necessary. But in the advanced countries of the West there is an abundance of democracy. There, it manifests itself, for example, in the form of punishments for participating in street demonstrations. Here even dense Russia has learned something from the West.
And the truth: for participating in an unauthorized rally the authorities will not stroke you on the head. Russian harsh lawmakers can easily, without further explanation, roll you a fine in 500, or even a thousand rubles. And if you are not just a participant, but the organizer of some protest action not approved by the city authorities, the amount by which your wallet will lose weight may amount to 2500 rubles. Comrade Navalny probably heard from someone about it. In Russia, it’s so bad with democracy that you can get behind bars for participating in an unauthorized rally. For whole 15 days. Half a month of arrest (this is the maximum, you can take pity and give five or ten days), by the way, you still have to earn it. In order to rest in a cool cell from a fussy life, you will have to demonstrate your contempt for public order in every way: be obscene (you see, there is censorship in Russia), offensively harass citizens, damage or simply destroy other people's property. In general, it is necessary to try.
Whether it's in the democratic West. For example, in the USA, if you, God forbid, come out to a demonstration with a subject that the authorities consider to be like weapon, you will be given 10 years. And if the protesters who have not received permission to demonstrate, block the passage or passage, then they will face a fine of up to 3000 dollars.
In the UK, for the same, for which in Russia they give 15 days, you can get 5 years, plus a fine of 2000 pounds sterling.
In Germany, the violator-demonstrator escapes, fortunately, only 1 with a year of imprisonment, which, by a court decision, can be replaced by a fine of 15000 euros.
In a democratic France, protesters for participating in a rally after the “Get Out!” Police command shine one year in prison and a fine of up to 15000 euros. But if the violator-demonstrator tries to hide his face, then he can be shoved into a sling for three years and fined up to the amount of 45000 euros. If the attacker came to the rally with a gun, then it is likely that he will be soldered for five years. French justice is a serious thing.
In Sweden, the demonstrators also do not stand on ceremony: the organizer of the gathering can get 4 of the year, the participant can get the 2 of the year.
Switzerland is a rich country. Here the punishment is as follows: up to 100000 dollars are fine.
In Japan, Italy (in this latter - no more 10 gathers) and other countries bragging about their democracy, you will not be praised for participating in "gatherings" either. And remember: it’s better not to bring a pistol, a Molotov cocktail or a stone with you.
As we see, democracy and 15 days are incompatible concepts. Only in backward Russia are these children's periods and tiny fines still practiced. However, the deputies, fearing, apparently, the budget deficit, offer miserable thousands of fines to turn into millions.
In recent months, democracy has been developing rapidly in Canada. Formerly, this country was closer than other democracies to Russia in terms of soft penalties. But May 17 in Quebec (the administrative center of the province of the same name), where students have been rioting for three months, adopted a special bill (law) under the number 78. Now, if you want to take a walk along the street of the fifty-five, please get permission from the police for a rally.
On Quebec law it is also impossible to gather en masse in the vicinity of colleges and universities. 50 meters - it's close, for it is fines. Ordinary "physical person", which has a hut on the edge, can get rid of 1000-5000 dollars in sum, but student leaders will have to pay for the same from 7 to 35 thousand dollars. Student unions will be able to roll out fines from 25 to 125 thousand dollars.
Making their bill, Canadian lawmakers took their cue from democratic France. If there is a punishment for rally violators hiding under the masks of a person from 2009 (I cite: 1.500 euro fine), then the municipal council of Montreal (the largest city in the province of Quebec) also passed a resolution prohibiting participants in hiding face hoods.
68 parliamentarians in Quebec voted in favor of the bill, 48 voted against. 68 people decided for everyone what democracy will look like in their native land. Well, they are parliamentarians. It is up to them to decide. Thus, these sixty-eight new laws objected to two hundred and fifty thousand protesters on the streets of Quebec and Montreal. Try with three attempts to guess whether the people in Canada have the power.
Ii. I do not want to learn, I want to rally!
The government of Quebec, where studying at universities is still cheaper than anywhere else in Canada, not for the first time raises tuition fees. The reason for the rise in prices is the same: the economic crisis affects. In 2010, the tuition fee was raised by 4,5%. Year of study student cost an average of Canadian dollars 2000. (One Canadian dollar is about the same as one American dollar). In 2011, the board went up by another 4,3%.
But already in February of the same year 2011 The government of Quebec, which has bothered to beg for small things, has opened its plans, announcing that the fee will be increased by 75%: by 1625 dollars. This overwhelmed students. The reservation that the fee would be raised not immediately, but for five years, did not impress the perturbed students. Justice-hungry young men and women do not want the local government to plug a hole in the budget at their expense.
And from that very February, students began to stand up for their rights. “Maple Spring” in Canada, which is similar to a spontaneous revolution (by the way, the protesters wear red clothes and act under red flags, besides students are not the only ones against the 78 bill), it has been going for more than a hundred days.
Instead of attending lectures, students began to organize regular protest rallies. Daily. At the end of March, 100.000 people took to the streets simultaneously. The record was set in May - 250.000 people.
Police democracy in Quebec meets protesting students with pepper gas, batons, light and noise grenades, and is treated with arrests. Protesters also claim that they are being shot at with rubber bullets.
In Montreal, too, is not all calm. Quote:
“In Montreal, students decided in the meantime to use other ways to attract attention. They marched through the streets, stripping down to their underwear in protest.
A new stage in the protests was the attack on the Montreal subway. 10 in May there was stopped the movement of trains due to the fact that smoke bombs were laid at several stations. As a result, the subway was paralyzed for several hours, and tens of thousands of passengers had to be transplanted to ground transportation. Authorities allowed additional buses, but many still had to wait at the stops for several hours before they could leave.
Four students were accused of being arrested and on Monday, May 14, were brought to trial. They were charged with criminal conspiracy, causing damage to property for five thousand dollars and imitation of a terrorist attack. With such articles, students face up to five years in prison.
At the same time for the protest movement, they already look like heroes and prisoners of conscience. In the hall, they were greeted with applause, and in front of the court building their supporters attacked journalists. Reporters got it because they published a photo from the police, as well as, in the opinion of the students, they biased the case biasedly. ”
Lin Beauchamp, a former Quebec education minister, tried to negotiate with student organizations, but she was a poor negotiator.
At the end of April, after the protesters arrested by 85, she said, “That invites representatives of two student associations to the negotiating table. Another youth union - the most radical - was deprived of the attention of the authorities. The minister said she would not communicate with those who use violence and blackmail. The leader of the radical wing of the demonstrators, Gabriel Nade-Dubois, responded that this decision only adds fuel to the fire of the conflict. As a result, two other student groups refused to participate in the negotiations as a sign of solidarity. ”
Then there was second try: “5-6 May government representatives held 22-hour talks with leaders of the protest movement. The Ministry of Education has proposed a compromise: tuition fees will be raised, but not so dramatically (on the 254 dollar annually for seven years). In addition, Lin Beauchamp wanted to create a special committee that would be checked by university management and optimized costs. In this case, the money that appeared could be allocated for student scholarships. In exchange for these concessions, the authorities demanded that the strikes be stopped and the textbooks returned. ”
Quebec students this half-hearted proposal did not support.
Beauchamp had nothing left but to recognize both his helplessness and defeat at the same time. 14 May she resigned. The reason for the resignation is called the failure of negotiations with students who did not stop conducting mass actions against the increase in tuition fees. When Lin Beauchamp resigned, 170.000 students boycotted classes, and the police conducted mass arrests.
A holy place is never empty. Lin Beauchamp replaced Michelle Courchene, right there declaredthat will not deviate from the course for an increase in tuition fees. Lyn Beauchamp could not quit his job.
The Quebec government, which had daily demonstrations of recalcitrant students in front of its throat, at the insistence of the Prime Minister of Quebec Jean Chare 17 in May adopted Bill 78, which toughens the requirements for rallies. In response, student organizations appealed to all residents of Quebec and Montreal: “Come out for a demonstration!”
On the night of May 17, students began breaking glass in banks in Montreal, throwing heavy and light objects at police. That night was arrested 122 person.
It was not only the students who rebelled. The demonstrations have now become massive. “I didn’t care about the protests when it was against raising tuition fees,” says 32-year-old manager Gilles Marcott. “But when the law struck not only the students, but all of us, I realized that something had to be done.” All this has gone too far. ”
22 May students celebrated the day of protests with mass demonstrations. At least one hundred arrests was produced by the police that night. Montreal "The Gazette" (J. Manny, Catherine Wilton, Andy Riga, and others) reports that Bill No. XXUMX and the decree against wearing masks were first used on this night.
Two days later, on the night of May 24, the Quebec police set an internal record for the number of student arrests. In Quebec and Montreal, was detained almost 700 man. Most of them - 518 people - was arrested in Montreal, and 170 people - in Quebec.
Protesters they say: ““ The authorities must repeal this law until the irreparable happens - they can seriously hurt someone or even kill. It will be a terrible tragedy, and no one wants it, but we have no way out. ”
By the way, Konstantin Dolgov, an authorized representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation on human rights, democracy and the rule of law, in connection with the systematic suppression of mass protests in Canada and the United States, in a special comment said: “... the rampant aggressive arrests of peaceful demonstrators in Chicago (around 50 people were arrested in a few days) and in Montreal (around 200 people), accompanied by the use of so-called“ acoustic guns ”and other special equipment, can not but cause serious concern the context of the realization of democratic rights and freedoms of expression, assembly and association, which are guaranteed by the fundamental international treaties and agreements ”.
But the authorities in Quebec Dolgov not hear. They are not inferior and do not intend to concede to the protesters.
Iii. A look from Canada: strike is the best strategy
"... At the heart of the 15 weekly strike is a protest against an increase in tuition fees - about $ 250 per year for seven years," writes in "The Gazette" Karen Zeidman, a university newspaper reporter, “But now that the controversial 78 bill was adopted last Friday, we also entered into a discussion on rights.
For many years, the author continues, the students struggled for free education, they complained about the heavy burden of debt, they even fictitiously married - in order to qualify for more student assistance ... "
The fight for free education, Zeidman writes, has been fought in Quebec since the beginning of 1960's. The students had protested before, but the case never went so far and the protests did not continue for so long. One of the college professors says: it's hard to say who will win in the confrontation. One thing is clear: the conflict has gone beyond tuition fees.
В article by Karen Zeidman all are given historical milestones in student struggles since 1958, when Prime Minister Maurice Duplessis abandoned federal funds to finance education. In protest, three students from the University of Montreal sat in the waiting room of his office every day for a week. Although they did not succeed, and he did not change his mind, their action was a turning point on the Quebec campuses, which became more active in the political sense. It was in Quebec that widespread protests began - in 1960. Students have achieved a lot in Quebec, and even the very establishment of the University of Quebec in 1969 is a side achievement of the student movement. Among other methods, in addition to strikes and protests, it is necessary to highlight extravagant. For example, in 1986, when the local government of liberals decided to “unfreeze” tuition fees (that is, simply put, to start raising them), about 50 students took part in modeling a mass wedding ceremony, saying that this is the only way the help of which they will be able to obtain the right to loans and scholarships. Two weeks later, the government surrendered.
In 2005, the first student conflict with the liberal government Share occurred, which announced a reduction of loans and scholarships by 103 million. More than 170.000 students went on strike, which lasted eight weeks. Education Minister Jean-Marc Fournier finally returned all 103 million.
Students know the history of the movement and say that “the best strategy in dealing with unfair public policies regarding higher education is a strike. The movement, according to students, unites them, and they can defeat anything. ”
In Montreal room "The Gazette" from 27 in May published a note with a photo of the leaders of three student organizations: Leo Bureau Blui, President of FECQ, Martin Desjardins, President of FEUQ, and Gabriel Nade-Dubois, representative of CLASSE. In the picture, they stand in anticipation of their lawyer, who on behalf of student groups, as well as trade unions, is leading a lawsuit against the 78 bill launched by 25 in May.
In addition to the fact that students are not ready to compromise on the increase in tuition fees, the article speaks about the criticism of the 78 bill by the human rights organization Amnesty International.
The organization said that a Quebec law violates freedom of speech, assembly, and movement, in violation of Canada’s international obligations.
“The 78 bill is an insult to fundamental freedoms that go far beyond provincial, national or international human rights laws,” said Xavier Zuniga, spokesman for Amnesty.
Real Segen in the room "The Globe and Mail" from 27, May quotes the words of 81-year-old Jacques Parisot, who actively participated in Québec’s political life in 1960's, including in the Silent Revolution, being a member of the Quebec party and later its leader.
Pariso said: “When I started working in the government, the national companies were nationalized, and I was 31 for a year. The atmosphere at that time was irresistible ... Well, now I have a feeling that everything begins again ... It is extremely healthy: to see the awakening of a whole generation. It's pretty exciting. ”
Old Parisot warned the government about the danger of collisions with the youth movement, referring to the late French President François Mitterrand: “Young people do not always do what is right. But society always does badly when it hits them. ”
As an economic argument for the Quebec government, Real Seguen’s article states that the tourist season begins in Montreal, and interested businessmen convince the government to put an end to the daily confrontation between demonstrators and the police.
This week, according to the article, a “last attempt” will be made by the local education minister to negotiate with rebellious students.
Following are the words of Martin Desjardin, President of the Federation of University Students: “The last time we met with Mrs. Courchene, this was followed by the adoption of an emergency law. Therefore, we are very careful. One thing is certain: there can be no settlement until the government refuses to discuss tuition fees. ” Negotiations with the Minister of Education begin after the next mass demonstrations that took place in six Canadian cities at once.
The article says that the legal community of Quebec has gathered for a “quiet” march through the streets of Montreal. Lawyers, notaries and other servants of the law unite in protest against what they call the “disproportionate infringement of the rights to freedom of expression, to meetings and to hold peaceful demonstrations.”
As for Mr. Parisot, the 81-year veteran of the “Silent Revolution” again talks about Quebec's independence. The fact is that a summit of supporters of sovereignty is scheduled for the coming autumn in Quebec. And Jacques Parisot, with pleasure recalling his past and associating it with the present, believes that current unrest can make a significant contribution to the discussion of sovereignty.
He also notes the fact that he did not see a single Canadian flag at the protest demonstrations - meanwhile, 200.000 people were gathering in the streets.
The flags there are really not Canadian, but red. Revolutionary. This is clearly seen in the photographs.
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