AGSEM Statement on the Tuition Protest and the Events of November 10, 2011

MONTREAL, Nov. 11, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - AGSEM is proud to have participated in the peaceful protest against the Quebec Government's increases to tuition. We are hopeful that the Quebec Government will take notice of the tens of thousands who marched through Montreal yesterday and that it will review the decision to increase tuition.

The events that occurred on our campus following the protest deeply concern AGSEM. The various images, videos, and eyewitness accounts that have circulated paint a shocking picture of what was experienced by students and professors on our campus. AGSEM does not condone the use of violence during demonstrations, whether by protesters or police. Given the troubling presence of riot police and the accounts detailing police violence against protesters, AGSEM calls for an independent inquiry into the events which took place in the evening of November 10, 2011. We further call on the McGill administration to publicly condemn the use of force against the students and professors of this university.

Last night's troubling events are the latest instances of an increasingly disturbing pattern of conduct by this university's upper administration. Throughout the last few months, the administration has assumed the role of policing McGill students, employees, and professors. Students who hold demonstrations on campus are charged wrongly with academic misconduct. When a labour union performs its legal right to strike at its workplace, the administration seeks an injunction to limit that union's ability to demonstrate. When professors criticize the administration's policies and actions, the administration resorts to intimidation. Is this the "longstanding McGill tradition of respectful and civil discourse where people are free to speak, to disagree and voice their views" that the Principal recently asked us all to respect?

Our community needs an independent account of what happened last night so that we can move forward together and make sure it never happens again. Only an inquiry from outside the administration can fulfil that goal.

AGSEM - McGill's Teaching Union - is the largest labour union at McGill University, representing 3,000 members: Teaching Assistants, Exam Invigilators, Course Lecturers and Instructors. The union is affiliated to FNEEQ-CSN

SOURCE Fédération nationale des enseignantes et des enseignants du Québec (FNEEQ-CSN)

For further information:

Lerona Lewis
514 -836-4283

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