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That is, "Squarely in the red." It's the slogan for the student strikers (now morphing into a nationwide movement) protesting against the raising of tuition fees and the accumulation of debt that it will cause.

Last night across Canada and in a few international locations, protesters gathered to bang on pots and pans, as people are doing in the streets of Montreal and Quebec, and make noise to show their support. The spark that turned the student protest into a general one was the special law 78, which suspends a variety of civil liberties in Quebec. A couple of days ago, lawyers protested in Montreal, walking out of court wearing their robes to stand against the law. To the best of anyone's knowledge, that has never happened before.

I was down at Gore Park in Hamilton last night. I had enough time to fire off an email to my NDP contacts yesterday afternoon, and at least one person saw it and came who otherwise wouldn't have known it was happening. Other than that, I marched with the small teachers' contingent, complete with the union flags - the only ones in attendance. As I remarked to them, there was a bit of déjà vu and a bit of prophecy when we stopped on the lawn of the Board of Education building for speeches. We all know we'll be marching there next year again.

Since I was near the front of the march, my picture was taken dozens of times. I think I need to make sure I get my hands on a newspaper today.

The protest was entirely peaceful, at least up to the point where I headed home. No violence or threat of violence was in evidence.

A quick shout-out to the police in Hamilton: there were about four police on bicycles helping to marshall and direct traffic. They did an excellent job - they didn't get in our way, they didn't try to stop us, they just made sure everyone was safe and that there was no damage to property or passers-by. I believe in giving credit where credit is due.
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Canadians need to watch this and pass it on, especially if you live in Ontario.

June 2017



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