I found out last week that I am a traitor.
I also found out that I reject the strike as a means of pressure, have a paranoid fear of losing control, am buddy-buddy with the Parti Québécois (PQ), and that saluting students who take bold action is a shameless act of recuperation. My colleagues and I were naturally quite surprised.
Fortunately, these things are only true in some upside-down world created to prove an exceedingly weak point and fan dying embers of mistrust toward the organization I am proud to be a part of.
To set the record straight, the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (FEUQ) encouraged and helped students to go on strike last spring. And yes, there was an action plan following the demonstration, though I’d be remiss to tell you that we (or anyone, for that matter) predicted the length of the strike. In fact, the federations were the only groups prepared for the eventual elections. We challenged students to stand up to the Charest government, and they – you – exceeded every expectation set. We’re proud of that. Together, we won, and I find it disturbing that certain folks would rather attack us than accept that the ‘evil federations’ can do something right.
Statements like “the federations moved to destroy the strike…” are sensational and outrageous – I, too, would be horrified if that were the case. Wolfe’s commentary neglects to mention that one CEGEP “forced” to reach out to the Coalition Large de l’Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (CLASSE) was, in fact, also a member of the coalition. This is literally the only proof of our “treachery”? As a university student, I expect more intellectual rigour and honesty behind such a statement. I could go on, but I would rather move beyond stale attacks. Why not encourage a discussion on the diversity of tactics, the merits of federative democracy, and the balance between ideology and concrete gains? Why not discuss the issues of substance that matter to students?
I’d be thrilled to discuss the positions or the structure of FEUQ, but conspiracy theories and ad hominem accusations do not lead to honest dialogue.
Cameron Monagle is the Internal Affairs Coordinator for the FEUQ. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.