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Montréal seen from a familiar sidelines vantage point

There seem to be two basic lines of objection to the Quebec government’s proposed tuition increases


 

Graham Hughes/CP Images

I admit I’ve always felt ambivalent about mass youth protest. I came along just after the Sixties generation, you see, and so my undergrad years fell in the early 1980s. My demographic coterie had heard about enough from our older siblings, high school teachers, and younger professors about changing the world by taking to the streets. It was getting a bit stale and sentimental. Pierre had rediscovered the virtues of a decent haircut. Phony Beatlemania had, we were given to believe, bitten the dust.

By the time the next round of serious street demos rolled around with the anti-globalization movement that hit the news big time with 1999’s “Battle of Seattle,” we were way past donning gas masks. Last year’s Occupy encampments forced some of us to alter our preferred dog-walking routes.  I touch on all this to candidly frame the way I’ve watched, from afar, the Montréal protests: I can’t see my younger self in the images. So if my perspective seems detached to those, say, a decade older or younger than my 50 years, I think that could be partly a matter of my lack of nostalgia.

I haven’t gone to Montréal to report on the scene (you’ll want to read my colleague Martin Patriquin for real journalism). All I’ve got are the weekend observations of an intrigued outsider, which I’m writing up for what they’re worth, inviting correction and argumentation.

To start with the core issue, there seem to be two basic lines of objection to the Quebec government’s proposed tuition increases. The first (put to me recently in an interview by Brigitte DePape, the Senate page protester) is that higher tuitions discourage students from low-income families from pursuing post-secondary education. To this valid concern, Premier Jean Charest’s April 27 offer—adding $39 million in bursaries and adjusting student-aid rules so low-income students wouldn’t be affected by the tuition hikes—is at least a plausible response. If the figures Charest put on the table can shown to be insufficient, then bargaining about those details is in order, but not a non-stop, no-compromises protest movement.

That leaves the second, and much broader, objection: post-secondary education should be free, or close to it. As a point of principle, a strong case can be made for this position. But free is obviously not the model anywhere in Canada and certainly not in the United States. If you’re serious about presenting that case, then, you have to argue for paying through higher taxes in Quebec than in neighbouring—and competing—jurisdictions. Is that practical? To provide just one key point of comparison, Quebec’s provincial taxes already add up to about 18 per cent of its gross domestic product (around $54 billion from a $297 billion economy), compared to 13 per cent in Ontario (roughly $79 billion from a $585 billion economy).

And the need to chip away at Quebec’s ominous provincial debt-to-GDP ratio—about 15 percentage points higher than Ontario’s (according to the Conference Board here) which is itself nothing to boast about—has already prompted Charest’s Liberals to boost the Quebec sales tax and its health care levy and its gas tax. The government is also trying to crack down on tax evasion in the province’s notorious construction industry and in the restaurant sector. Where else should it turn for more revenue? It looks like a jurisdiction that needs to find cash where it can, even from the student body, which has of course proven to be a politically disadvantageous turnip to squeeze.

So I don’t see how the case against tuition increases convinces as either an argument for equal access (since if that’s what it was about we’d be hearing more pointed argument over provisions for low-income students) or how the province should tax and spend (since we haven’t heard any coherent critique of the seemingly reasonable way the government is addressing its awful fiscal situation).

That brings us to the contentions from various quarters that all this is all actually about something far more profound that school fees. I take it this is what anthropologist Serge Bouchard was getting at in the Globe and Mail where he’s quoted alluded to a generational “wild awakening and spontaneous show of solidarity.” I’ll leave “wild awakening” aside, but I think I grasp the meaning of the word “spontaneous,” and I have to wonder how it possibly describes, for instance, the systematic marshalling of crucial union support for the student demonstrators. To me, this smacks more of cool strategy than warm spontaneity: unions tend to grow fearful for their public-sector members’ pay, pensions and job security whenever a government turns to fixing a serious fiscal problem.

Still, I don’t doubt that among those banging pots and pans in the streets of Montréal genuine dissatisfaction runs deep. The tuition issue looks more like a catalyst than a root cause of their outpouring of discontent. I’m going to make the bland, safe guess that most of the demonstrators wish government could be about something more than balancing the books and civil life amounted to something greater than a set of market transactions. Those are excellent starting places for thinking about drafting a political program, but hardly the present-day equivalents of, say, opposing a war or advocating civil rights.

When the Occupy tents came down, that movement had accomplished something: solidly establishing income disparity as an issue to be taken seriously. In that sense, those of us who had moaned about Occupy’s lack of precision in its demands were proven wrong. The occupiers at least had a core grievance that needed hammering home. So far, though, the Montréal demos don’t appear to be achieving anything similar. If all the noise is to amount to the watershed wished for by those sympathetic to the protestors, then the striking students’ leaders, or somebody, will have to make their point clearer, or bigger, or both.

Up to now, however, the gripe about tuitions isn’t compelling enough, and the broader themes are too amorphous, to justify such a prolonged claim on our attention. Of the protest movements I’ve watched from my generation’s customary, comfortable position on the sidelines, this is one that doesn’t make me worry that I was born at the wrong time.


 

Montréal seen from a familiar sidelines vantage point

  1. All education should be free, and available to everyone. Other countries do it, so there’s no reason why we can’t. Perhaps NA could just unstuffy itself, and get on with the 21st century.

    Canada needs it, and the knowledge economy demands it.

    This is all part of Occupy, which is still going strong even though the Canadian media doesn’t cover it…..Occupy…everywhere… wants ‘Access’ to the system.

    It doesn’t require new taxes….it requires new priorities.

    • Oh for goodness sakes, if you guys don’t have an answer or can’t debate….just say so

      • You’re just too annoying to reply to.
        I’m a university student studying sciences and the most ridiculous part about your argument is that in my arts electives I’m required to take for my degree, I often do better than my faculty of arts counterparts. Writing skills are required by every degree to some extent, so I wouldn’t bother wasting money on skills I could get from a degree that matters.
        In fact I live in one of Canada’s most expensive cities and I haven’t a dime of student debt to repay as of yet because I’ve worked throughout my entire post secondary education so far and LOVED it! I think the only thing I’m missing with my science degree is that I can’t for the life of me understand the oversized glasses hipster look paired with ‘vintage’ clothing purchased new from expensive stores or the enjoyment that my arts friends get in drinking till they puke every weekend.
        Yes I do believe that it is getting more crucial to have a post secondary degree in order to function in society today, but if someone’s thinking of getting a history degree let me just remind them that they could have gotten that stellar job at Starbuck’s making lattes without it, so I’m not sure why they would even bother.
        Furthermore, no you don’t learn creativity from an arts degree, you learn about other people’s creativity. You either are creative or you’re not.
        I can use my wonderful creativity any time that I please and it was FREE. I can even support myself in the meantime… take THAT arts degree.

        • Well if you find me annoying just because I disagree with you, you’re going to have a helluva life…..cuz lots of people along the way will disagree with you on one thing or another….and you’ll spend your entire life being annoyed! LOL

          What you’re basically saying is the old ‘I’m alright Jack, so to hell with you’. As long as you’re doing well, you don’t understand that others may not have the same good fortune you do. This has been summed up as ‘white privilege’ by blacks, and ‘male privilege’ by women…..and ‘elitism’ by everyone else.

          And you have that weird Con belief that anyone outside the sciences works at Starbucks. A simple glance around society would tell you that’s not true.

          HIstory is important….remembering it keeps us from repeating it. Or as Cicero said “To be ignorant of history is to remain always a child.”

          We don’t know why some people are creative, and others are not….lack of imagination probably, or the lack of willingness to take a risk…..but creativity is vital in the 21st century. Unless we can imagine new ways of doing things, we are going to fail badly.

          In Science you also study everything that has been done before you….what worked, and what didn’t….before you set out on your own. That’s learning ‘other people’s creativity’. It should help foster creativity in you. It may, it may not….you may only be being fanciful….but anything that stimulates creativity is good.

          The arts and sciences should never be separated….they are both important. Science, engineering etc alone makes you into a robot. Just a worker.

          You need to know about a wider world.

          You have a bad case of superiority that Life will target heavily. Everybody needs to find their own path….and shockingly, it may not be science.

          I’ve always championed science….but we’re only nibbling at the very outer edges of it now….so remember that the beginning of wisdom is to admit how ignorant you are….and take it from there.

          But going around with your nose in the air means you’re likely to trip and fall.

          Remember, Cons sneer at science every bit as much as they sneer at art….they are the ones opposing evolution and climate change and the geological record, space travel and so on….so don’t go that route.

          ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge.’ —
          Albert Einstein

          • Ahh, “Elitism”, the death rattle of the leftist beaten by logic and experience. I find it funny that you would refer to someone else as an elitist when you have no problem looking down on others from high atop your ivory tower.
            Now to the actual point of the debate, I disagree with your analysis of what a degree in science teaches you completely. (shocker, I know) The important part of a science degree is not the history, but the methodology. More important that learning that Newton came to the realization that all objects in the universe exert gravitational attraction on each other, is learning how to come to such conclusions yourself. You learn about science so you can ‘do” science. A history degree doesn’t teach you how to make history.

          • Um no….it’s a common name for the privileged few…especially on here. LOL

            A history degree allows you to record, and pass on history.

            It’s like passing on a torch…humanity’s memory

            I am neither leftist, nor in an ivory tower.

            My training is in science and economics….and my field is global economic development.

          • It’s like passing on a torch…humanity’s memory. I’m pretty sure thats what Google and Wikipedia are for. lol

          • Then you’d be wrong.

    • Sure, Emily, education should be free, So should food, and housing, and transport, and many things that are far more crucial than a university education. But we can’t afford all that.
      Maybe education is more important than food. I’m sure some would argue that. But what makes it something that should be “free”? Is it to enable people to read and write and so participate in society? Elementary and secondary schools are supposed to teach those, and indeed they are free. But how can going to university benefit society at large, as opposed to the student?
      Maybe if the student takes engineering or some other discipline where people are in short supply. Then the government should give out grants. But someone studying literature or performing arts, or art history? How in the world does that benefit society in any way?
      Why should Jean-Pierre, working as a cashier at a convenience store, subsidize Marie-Louise, who is learning ballet (or perhaps the history of ballet)?

      • Well then, why should high school be free?

        By that time everybody should be able to read and write and do arithmetic and the argument was made long ago that we don’t need anymore than that. Or why should elementary school be free? Your parents could teach you reading and writing and arithmetic if you really thought you needed them.

        Before you know it we’d be right back to the caves, because none of that knowledge is useful at that stage….survival would only require knowing what nuts and berries were safe to eat and how to kill an animal for lunch.

        Society has progressed because of education. And the more we learn, the more we find there IS to learn. There’s no end to it I’m afraid. We are only nibbling at the barest outer edge of science….or anything else.

        So the case comes down to 2 options….the cave or the stars?

        Assuming you choose the stars, there is no level at which you can call a halt to it.

        When you graduate from high school, you’ve gone beyond the basics of literacy…to history, geography, literature, math, another language….but you still don’t have any ‘job skills’. You aren’t trained to DO anything. However both you and society are better off. Because it means you now have the skills…to learn more.

        University is a continuation of that. More in-depth general knowledge about the world we live in….and a chance to start specializing in the things you take an interest in, and are good at. Again it benefits you, and benefits society.

        The idea that people should only study engineering or some other ‘useful’ subject baffles me. For one thing we are short of all skills, not just engineering and the like.

        And define ‘useful’.

        Do you really think we can have a society without professors, journalists, economists, writers, artists, sociologists, psychologists, dancers, historians…..?

        That would be an anthill….

        Gazillions of generations of ants have reproduced, eaten well, built on to the anthill, even gone to war or had to move on to new territory etc….. and died. To the best of our knowledge they’ve never created any art, music, philosophy or anything beyond basic survival. So ants today are pretty much like the ants of millions of years ago. No society, no civilization….no progress.

        However humans aren’t ants. We are curious, we can learn, we can change and adapt….we are by nature…explorers. We need more than an anthill.

        An engineer can build a TV set…..but what goes out on that set is….stories, music, dance…..it’s a bridge of the mind, not one of cement and metal. It communicates to all other human beings. It generates ideas, it entertains, it educates….and all from ‘performing arts’. Even cave men sat around the campfire and told stories, created costumes and masks, sang and danced….it’s what we do. It’s how we moved on.

        I’m sure your ‘Jean-Pierre working in the convenience store’ watches TV, goes to the movies, reads a magazine or a book, attends concerts….wonders about the world.

        So your question comes down to…..should we have education at all?

        If the answer is ‘yes’….then the question becomes….’how much….and in what subjects?’

        The answer to that is….life-long learning…..and in every field possible. To see how far we can go, and how fast.

        The only other alternative is the anthill….or the cave.

        “It’s not the strongest of the
        species which survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive
        to change”

        Charles Darwin

        • @40d99c343d00cd17c0b8cc060b39af8b:disqus ”
          Well then, why should high school be free? ”

          The law requires that we receive a secondary education. University is not compulsory. Is it not appropriate that the State offers to pay for the secondary education it compels my children to undertake?

          A University education is optional, yet it too, in Canada anyways, is subsidized by the state to some extent.

          I’m a resident of Quebec with two university age(ish) children. I’m not looking forward to the increased tuition, but when I compare Quebec rates to what we would pay elsewhere in Canada or in England (my native land where tuition has increased from 1000 pounds to 9000 pounds in the 14 years since its introduction), then I’m not so agitated.

          But yes, lifelong learning is great and a liberal-arts education is good for individuals and for society. And this remains true even if the State only picks up 77% of the (average) tab (as proposed in Quebec).

          • Yes, the law requires we receive a secondary education….now.

            It didn’t used to….we made it that way because we realized the
            benefits of having a more educated society. Before that we were lucky if
            people stayed past grade 5.

            Perhaps we should now do the same for education beyond high school.

            Saying Quebec isn’t as expensive as other provinces so you should just be
            grateful and not complain, is like your mom insisting you finish your
            supper….because ‘children in
            some other country are starving’.

            supper….because ‘children in some other country are starving’.

          • Sigh….first it didn’t want to post, and now I can’t edit.

            It’s a guessing game on here anymore….so I hope you can guess what I said.

            Assume the extra last line is missing.

          • @40d99c343d00cd17c0b8cc060b39af8b:disqus I did not write that you or anyone else should be grateful and shouldn’t complain. I wrote that I was relieved that tuition in Quebec is, and will remain, lower than elsewhere in Canada and in England.

            As a parent of two academically inclined teenagers, I’ll admit that free tuition sounds attractive. But as a Quebec citizen concerned about Provincial and University finances, as well as the proper provision of primary and secondary education, health and other social services, then I reluctantly support the proposed increases in tuition.

          • Then perhaps you should be looking at changing provincial priorities. It’s up to Quebecois what they choose to spend their money on.

          • I am a Quebecker/Quebecois. I don’t understand your point?

          • Well, I’m an Ontarian….so I don’t know how Quebecois would want to change or re-prioritize their public spending.

            In Ontario we could eliminate separate schools or a bunch of other things, and divert that money to better use at the post-secondary level.

        • Yup, everyone should be able to read and write and do elementary math by the time they graduate from elementary school. But many can’t. So we give them free compulsory high school to make up for it. Other people benefit from not having to help out people who might otherwise be illiterate.
          As to your assertion that there would be no culture without university, the world managed quite well for hundreds and thousands of years. Shakespeare never took “creative writing” at university, Nureyev never studied “performing arts” at university, and Simone de Beauvoir never took “gender studies” at university.
          Now if people want to go to universities to study these things, fine. But they should not expect others to subsidize them while they are doing it.
          By contrast, science, engineering and technology have progressed since Shakespeare’s day, or even the day of Simone de Beauvoir, and have become very complex. Engineers and technologists need advanced education to be able to do heir job. And what they do benefits the rest of us in very immediate ways. Just think of yourself communicating over the Internet right now. Could it happen without engineers and computer programmers? No. Could it happen without dancers, and art historians and pjilosophers? Yes.
          Infcreasingly we provide our own content. We don’t need a privileged class to do so. But very few of us can provide our own technology.
          See the difference?

          • No, high school is not to ‘make up’ for anything missed in elementary school. Simply repeating grade school would have done that.

            You are considered to be functionally illiterate with anything less than grade 10 minimum. That is, you are ‘literate’, but not by enough to ‘function’ in today’s society. And the level is rising all the time.

            Reading Dick and Jane is not the same as reading a report on stem cells….or even filling out a tax or job form for that matter.

            We now need far more than just being functional.

            We’ve had universities for well over 2000 years…it’s why we have a civilization today….and it involves everything, from our best writers to our engineers

            We’ve had computers and robots since ancient Sumeria and China. We’ve ALL provided our own technology…where do you think it came from??

            Nureyev was a graduate of ballet school.

            No one knows how Shakespeare came to have the knowledge he did…which is why there is a dispute over whether he actually wrote the plays or not.

            Simone de Beauvoir studied at the Sorbonne.

            All of it benefits us….including the art historians, dancers and philosophers….your society rests on them in fact. Ever heard of Plato or Socrates? Confucius, Lao Tse? Buddha?

            The whole point in a free education for everyone is that there would BE no ‘privileged class’…..everyone would have access to the system.

            You do realize that much of what we’ve invented in science and tech came from writers? Some with scientific backgrounds…some without.

            Today we are creating cell phones, androids, computers and replicators….as first written about in Star Trek….engineers and scientists can create them….but they didn’t dream them up. Writers did.

            See the difference?

    • I would be fine with a system in which all education were free IF AND ONLY IF there were strict standards for admission and performance.

      One impression I have from the self-styled revolutionaries is that a lot of them are happy to attend the second- and third-rate universities of their province. I’m sure it’s good for feelings of self-importance.

      Education at every level in this country has been degraded, and at some point we will have to revisit standards. Until then, all education is both overpriced and under-managed.

      • Well you’re out of luck on that one already.

        You can already get university, even if you haven’t graduated high school.

        And to refuse to do anything….because it doesn’t suit your personal standards….means nothing will ever get done.

        I agree education needs an overhaul…it has to progress with the times, and much of what we do and how we teach hasn’t changed since the Middle Ages….or ancient Babylon for that matter.

        But you have to have an education….to change education.

  2. Regarding spontaneity and strategy I read this revealing article from the UK in praise of CLASSE and the techniques it has used to fight the tuition increase.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/01/quebec-protests-student-activists?INTCMP=SRCH

    Quoting from the article:
    Drawing on his experience at McGill University, strike veteran Jamie Burnett has some useful advice for the many student activists now considering how best to extend the campaign to other parts of Canada: don’t indulge in “soft pickets” that allow classes to take place in spite of a strike mandate, and that thus allow staff to isolate and fail striking students. “Enforcing strikes is difficult to do, at least at first,” he says, “but it’s a lot less difficult than failing a semester. And people eventually come around, building a culture of solidarity and confrontational politics in the process.”

    Lovely! This was never mentioned when protesting students blocked others (including my son) from their classes. Then it was all about the primacy of a student assembly’s vote.

    • That’s disgusting, striking workers lose their pay, why the hell shouldn’t he fail the semester. This tool better get picked up by the cops. Political intimidation is illegal, bill 78 or not.

  3. You are unfortunately misinformed. The students were willing to pay the first two years of increases by foregoing educational tax credits. Charest refused even though it would have been revenue neutral, no new taxes. Charest has been shifting costs to the middle-class for years. For example, the extra health care levy is actually a flat tax which is regressive. Tax credits benefit the wealthy more than the middle-class. The massive financial mismanagement and waste in the universities is widely known and nothing serious has been done to rectify that situation. Students want that situation cleaned up before being asked to give more money to be mismanaged. Corruption in the government is rampant from the municipal to the provincial levels being involved with organized crime.

  4. I’m about the same age as you, so the non-protestor thing is a complete cop-out. I’ve protested three times now because when I sing O Canada, I mean it. I do, however, more or less agree about the tuition thing. I don’t think tuition should be free because then it becomes less worthy of serious effort, and I don’t think the general populace should pay for your tuition (those that don’t go to university, for whatever reason, shouldn’t have to pay for the presumably more cushy job the university grad gets). That said, the when of the tuition charges is something to consider (i.e., instead of amassing debt, you amass tuition=no interest). I also think the University deal is becoming something of a scam. It bears seriously looking into for outcomes before you just blindly sign up because that’s what’s expected of you. And finally, while I don’t want to protest about tuition, I’d be happy to protest about the unbelievable C-78 or whatever it is that is obviously against the Charter. Unfortunately, I feel that protesting the one is automatically protesting the other at the current time.

    • I agree with John in that this protest lacks the substance it needs to warrant any attention. Unfortunately, so much attention has been invested in it that I don’t think the students can afford to lose at this point; what message would that send to others of our generation, protesting amounts to nothing?

      • Well, protesting rarely does amount to anything, so a bit of reality isn’t such a bad thing, however its the only peaceful thing we’ve got and NOT protesting is akin to approval. But the message I’m getting these days is “It isn’t about tuition anymore” direct quote from something or another. It has substance now!

    • I don’t understand this need to make people suffer….with debt, crappy food, little sleep and a lot of worry….. at a time in their life when they most need to be alert and on the ball.

      • Because if you make it like a party, they’ll treat it like a party. The crappy food and little sleep comes either way :)

        • Who’s making it like a party?

          Is high school a party? Same arguments were made then.

          Had we thought of demanding they act like adult scholars, not kindergartners?

          • How do you propose we enforce that exactly? Decorum Police? Because frankly, they aren’t paying attention to the laws we have now, so why would they respond to the new ones?

          • Students involved in wild drunken parties…or more recently, riots….anywhere in the country would be given one warning, and then expelled.

            It’s not a police matter, it’s up to the universities.

            In Quebec there is a protest about tuition fees.

          • What? A protest about tuition fees you say? How have I not heard about this! Someone should alert the media!
            On a serious note, did you just advocate the expulsion of students that were involved in the riots? I think we might finally agree on something

          • No, I did not.

            A public protest about tuition isn’t a drunken homecoming party.

          • “Students involved in wild drunken parties… or more recently, riots” That is a direct quote, you can read it for yourself a few coments up. If throwing molotov cocktails, destruction of property, blocking students from going to class via intimidation and violence, and assaulting reporters doesn’t warrant a bad behavior expulsion, your solution to all this mind you, then I don’t know what does.

          • Obviously you haven’t been watching homecomings, frat parties and other general mayhem going on at universities. They aren’t political, nor are they social movements….just drunken parties turning into vandalism and riots.

            Don’t try and tell me what I said…they are two quite different things.

          • How dare I use the words that you said to make a counter arguement! I’m not trying to tell you what you said, because I don’t have to, it is right there in black and white.
            But let’s assume that you meant something completely different than what you wrote. Why does getting drunk at a party and participating in a riot differ from doing the same at a protest? I’m all for the students rights to protest for whatever ridiculous thing they want to, but when the line is crossed from peaceful protest to rioting, there should be consequences.
            If you’re going to penalize one group, why not the other? In fact in this instance the protesters deserve to be penalized more so, because what they are doing is preventing students who don’t want anything to do with the protest from going to class.

          • Now you’re just nattering in order to natter….not interested. Sorry.

            Ciao

          • Well at least you stick to your guns. One more quote if you’ll allow. “Oh for goodness sakes, if you guys don’t have an answer or can’t debate….just say so” Thanks for saying so.

  5. For the record, I see education as an infrastructure rather than a product. With the way technology is becoming more complex, our society can no longer run without a proper education. We need that education just as much as we need roads, water, electricty, natural gas, etc. I’m up with anyone who can come up with a valid model for free education.

    Although, I think the real problem with Post Secondary Education starts in high school. We spin those kids in a million direction, spoon feed them a standardized half-baked education, and just when they couldn’t be more confused about their place in the world, we expect them to pick a life career and kick them out the door pronto!
    No, post-secondary education reform is a moot point until we change the way we prepare our students for it.

  6. Well, John, I am of the sixties… 20 yrs. old in 1968 .. and it was a great time to be young and alive. So, I feel bad for people of your generation and those since. By the time you came along the neo-liberal shitstorm was in the process of sucking the joy and life out of
    everything. There is no reason that education could not be free .. but it won’t be.
    I certainly encourage the students to get their stuff in while they can. A few months of
    feeling that energy is worth it all before they get subsumed by the life of being of service
    to the Economy.
    Btw, there are some who say that the world started to go sour with this ..
    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/supremecourt/personality/sources_document13.html

    I doubt it’s that simple.

  7. I’m smack dab in the middle of your generational cohort JGs, and I’d say you just about nailed it, for me anyway. Just what is this really about? They say it draws it’s inspiration from those ” kitchen” demos in Argentina and Chile, but as you allude , those were “real”things to protest at.
    Hard to judge from vantage point 5000 kms away, but if I diidnt know better I’d say they were bored, suffering from existential angst. Maybe you really can have it just a little too good, even in the midst of a global economic crisis?

  8. Unfortuantely you have missed the point so I wonder why you’d bother to write about it and throw it out there for other ill informed or apathetic people to read and feel justified.

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