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PEN has become uneasy with how freedom of expression is faring at home. Like many other groups, we've monitored the current federal government, and noted a tendency towards excessive secrecy and a wish to control information, dalliances with censorship and internet surveillance, among other things.
How ironic that the most extensive demonstrations we have seen to date in North America have concerned not unemployment, global warming, or the notorious one per cent, but the tuition that Quebec students have to pay for the benefits of a college education. Now two professors at the University of Montreal have likened Quebec to Putin's Russia.
It is no secret that the supporters of the protest movement in Quebec are principally made up of people who are white, Francophone, and sovereigntist. There are of course exceptions to that sweeping generalization, but one needs only to attend a rally to see the copious Quebec flag waving and chants for independence to really get a taste for one of the many underpinnings of the movement.
The Quebec protests are now boring the media; nothing new has been said for quite some time. One must be watchful for columnists who break out the "but these tuition protests have really evolved into something bigger" line.
Canada's baby boomer-run media has been pretending that Quebec's student protests are only about tuition, when that's merely symbolic of the boot the older generation is placing upon the necks of their kids.
Well, it was quite the week -- beginning with a showy demonstration of fireworks for the visiting Royals and ending with demonstrations by thousands of student protestors in downtown Montreal. In between, HuffPost Canada celebrated its first birthday with quite the party. Our own royalty, HRH Arianna was, in attendance -- and our blogger, Lord Black, made his first big public appearance since being released from prison on May 4.
Maclean's image of a student on its front page and in our faces, declaring: "How a group of entitled students went to war and shut down a province. Over $325." is not only inaccurate, but downright contemptuous of the next generation.