Students protest tuition fees in Canada

February 16, 2007

Protests against tuition fees brought Canada to a standstill on February 7. In Toronto, as temperatures dropped to as low as -20°C, more than 6000 students took to the streets, demanding the government increase funding to make post-secondary education accessible.

Students are graduating with higher and higher debts and Canadian politicians seem content to do nothing.

Language barriers were broken down at the protests as students realised it didn't matter whether they spoke French or English, but that they were fighting for a common cause. Inter-school rivalries were put aside as York University students cheered alongside rival University of Toronto students.

The national day of action followed a year of student campaigning and now open forums are being held on campuses to work out a way forward for the campaign. It is hoped the protest spurs forward the building of a student movement across Canada that can affect change, including at the Ontario provincial elections later this year.

[Stuart Harrison is a member of the Australian socialist youth group Resistance. Steven Broadley is a student activist involved in the York Federation of Students' tuition fees campaign.]

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