Concordia Students Strike Despite Cancelled Classes
Security and Police Seen Around Campus, Classes Picketed
With classes canceled this Monday for the faculty and departments that voted to strike, approximately 100 students voiced their concern around Concordia, picketed classes and gathered support for their cause against austerity.
The Fine Arts Student Alliance (FASA), Women’s Studies Student Association (WSSA), Undergraduate Students of Philosophy Association (SoPHiA), Geography Undergraduate Student Society (GUSS), and the School of Community and Public Affairs Student Association (SCPASA) all had their classes canceled by the school’s administration.
“I think [the protest] is amazing,” said Catherine Fournier-Poirier, a member of the FASA. “It’s the best opportunity to build the momentum and build a sense of community in Concordia.”
At least three classes not cancelled were targeted by a Concordia demo contingent this afternoon. A class that included fine arts in its title in H-110 was interrupted as well as a class shared by geography and urban studies students on the 12th floor.
At a political science class on the 4th floor, class members were seen arguing with demonstrators. The class included SCPA in its title, and Nicolas Levesque — one of the students in the class — said a classmate pushed one of the protesters.
As students arrived at the Library building in Concordia, the chants of “Hey hey, ho ho, austerity must go,” echoed through the building all way to the Hall, where the protesters began picketing against ongoing classes.
“The students are mobilizing against the cuts of their department,” said Anthony Gavin, a philosophy student and participant in the strike. “We’re a strong voice [and] we’ve had success communicating with other students.”
The protest quickly gathered attention from Concordia security officials who filmed the protest.
Police were also present as protesters entered the Hall building. However, no arrests were made and students were for the most part free to go protest in the streets.
“The police presence is strong, it’s a little bit intimidating as it always is when you’re confronting the repressive arm of the state,” Gavin said of the police on the scene. “But, ultimately they need to recognize that they’re with us as well. We’re supporting the workers. We’ve adopted their slogans.”
“The slogans that we’re crying here in the streets are the same ones that they’ve pasted all over the squad cars.”
Moving from to the EV and MB buildings on Guy St., students going about their day heard “anti-capitalistes” chants from the protesters.
The next stop for the protesters was the Fine Arts building, but it was mostly empty. So, the demonstration moved back to the streets, where police attempted to stop the protest.
Despite the police, the it continued and ended inside EV building. Most of the students dispersed, however some remained at a table organized by the Fine Arts Student Alliance.
Video by Brandon Johnston with additional footage by Alex Bailey