Feb 4th 2013
Today, the McGilll administration released a memo announcing the next phase in its year-long campaign to implement a new protest management policy on campus. The memo encourages McGill community members to provide feedback on a “Statement of Values on Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Assembly,” which is based on the preamble of the withdrawn Protocol on Demonstrations, Protests and Occupations. However, the core of the new policy is contained in a separate set of operating procedures, which contains the same text as the Protocol. This document will no longer be subject to approval at Senate or the Board of Governors, which leads us to conclude that it will be imposed unilaterally irrespective of the outcome of the consultation process.
A protest protocol by any other name is still unacceptable, and McGill’s unions and supporters will continue to fight against this encroachment on our rights. Stay tuned for further updates.
Jan. 28, 2013
Last Wednesday, January 23, 2013, labour unions and their allies gathered to demonstrate against McGill’s Provisional Protocol Regarding Demonstrations, Protests, and Occupations on McGill University Campuses. See excerpts of recordings from speeches at the rally and an interview that was aired on CKUT’s “Off the Hour” last Wednesday below.
Union organizers were very pleased to see many of our allies from other unions and student associations in attendance at the rally and speaking out publicly against the protocol, including representatives from SPUQ – the Syndicat des professeurs et professeures de l’Université du Québec à Montréal, the Syndicat des enseignantes et enseignants du CÉGEP Montmorency, the Association pour une Solidarité Syndicale Étudiante (ASSÉ), CUPFA – Concordia University Part-Time Faculty Association, Conseil Central du Montréal Metropolitain and other unions affiliated with FNEEQ-CSN. Students and faculty from various departments at McGill spoke out against McGill’s Provisional Protocol and its limitations on our fundamental freedoms to protest and express dissent on campus.
In addition, the Post-Graduate Student’s Society, the Philosophy Student’s Association and the Art History and Communication Studies Graduate Student Association have passed resolutions and motions in support of the demonstration against the protocol (see this page to see a list of groups opposing the Protocol). It is becoming clear that the wider McGill community does not welcome the limitations, restrictions and value judgments imposed by the protocol on forms of dissent on campus. As one speaker at the rally proclaimed, “protests are not supposed to be convenient!”
Listen to the rally speeches here:
And listen to the interview regarding the provisional protocol given by the President of AGSEM’s Coordinating Committee, Lilian Radovac, on CKUT here:
Read Prof. Tom Lamarre’s article “Outlaw Universities” in Theory & Event here: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/theory_and_event/v015/15.3S.lamarre.html
In addition, here is a link to CKUT’s online archive for January 23rd (this link will not be active after April 23, 2013): http://archives.ckut.ca/64/20130123.17.00-18.00.mp3
* * *
Jan 24th 2013
photo by Georgia Gleason McGill Daily
Protest ALL Protocols!
McGill’s administration has withdrawn the Protocol Regarding Demonstrations, Protests and Occupations; however, the provisional version of the Protocol remains in full effect. Furthermore, the administration intends to launch consultations on a new protest management policy with a different name, this time with NO approval from either Senate or the Board of Governors. (Read the memo here and article here)
We believe that the only document that should govern our conduct on campus is the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. Join us in a opposing an administration that has consistently quashed critique on campus and attacked this institution’s democratic values.
Jan. 22, 2013: See this article by Karen Seidman in the Montréal Gazette on McGill’s attempt to seek exemption from what the administration deems to be inconvenient access-to-information requests, many concerning weapons research and controversial Plan Nord research and development initiatives. The anti-democratic protest protocol is mentioned later in the article: http://www.montrealgazette.com/technology/McGill+wants+block+certain+access+information+requests/7856238/story.html