All of us have the right to protest, it’s even right there in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms – section 2 C freedom of peaceful assembly.
But what we have seen in Quebec, in a student strike that began on February 14th, is anything but peaceful.
On a good day these protesters simply shut down bridges and main roads in one of Canada’s biggest cities.
On a bad day they smashed store fronts, looted, burned and terrorized the city of Montreal.
This week they turned to terrorizing students that actually want to learn, those still attending classes.
Throughout all of this Premier Charest has negotiated with these thugs. Those negotiations should have ended as soon as violence started and force should have been met with force but instead violence was met with a better offer to the students from Charest.
That led us to make fun of him and the idea that he had lost his man bits.
But the reality is this mess in Quebec is not funny. People’s lives have been put at risk by the mob that is attempting to overthrow democratic rule in Quebec – that may sound like a stretch to call it that but that is what this is. The student mob is trying to over throw democracy.
The duly elected government of Quebec has decided to increase tuition rates at colleges and universities that they control. They presented a budget bill which had to be debated and passed through the legislature. The mob didn’t like this, they wanted it to stop.
But unable to accomplish their goals through democratic means they have resorted to running wild through the streets, to violence, to putting smoke bombs in subway stations filled with thousands of people and finally, yesterday, they call in a bomb threat to the legislature that was debating a bill to deal with the strike.
The students don’t like democracy because they think they know better, they think they know the will of the people.
In her bestselling book Demonic, Ann Coulter looked at the mob mentality that shows up in society from time to time and specifically what drives the mob.
They will not stop because they think they know what the people want. Pesky little things like elections and rule of law and parliament obviously don’t matter to these thugs.
So what to do?
In Coulter’s study of mobs over the last two to three centuries she found that the only effective way to deal with mobs is to smash them, not negotiate.
Jean Charest should not only pass his bill to deal with the strike he should withdraw the offer to extend the tuition increase over 7 years instead of 5. He should instruct police not to tolerate the rioting any longer and to enforce the many court injunctions to open schools back up.
Remember, most students aren’t taking part in these strikes but many have had their classes cancelled by thugs blocking doorways, professors who have walked out in support of the thugs and police that have failed to act.
Another step Charest should take is to find a way to fire those cops or professors who refuse to abide by and enforce the court orders.
Meet force with force and teach the thugs that they cannot bully democracy.
And that’s the Byline.