Letters to the Editor: May 30, 2012

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WLUFA right to support Quebec students’ protests

Re: “WLUFA sends support to students in Quebec” May 25 (online)

I fully support and applaud the Faculty Association at Wilfrid Laurier University for their recent show of concern for the threat Bill 78 poses towards students’ ability to protest.

Protesting is by far the most effective way many sections of society, including students, can influence the political process.

Often in society, people decry the lack of active youth participation in politics. Bill 78 is part of this problem. 

Student protests are a sign of young people becoming politically active by advocating publicly for changes in the political process. Most people claim Bill 78 is designed to stop “radicals” or “violent protesters.”

If this was true then how does restricting every major protest stop vandalism at schools or masked people trying to shut down classes?

If anything, these illegitimate forms of protest will gain more power as a result of this bill because it makes legitimate forms of protests harder to do. 

Recent police tactics, such as kettling, are also terrible ways to stop “radical protesters.”

This does not effectively break up illegitimate or violent protests but prevents crowds from dispersing and treats regular protesters the same as violent protesters.

This tactic has been used in Quebec not as a mean of violence prevention but a means of intimidation to protesters of all kinds. 

I thank the Faculty Association of Wilfrid Laurier University for their decision. I feel that the WLUSU should likewise show their support.

The students’ best way to influence the political process will continue to remain protesting not just lobbying, as the two Waterloo universities’ students’ unions recently stated.
Evan Henry

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