Thursday, October 4, 2012

Quebec student movement takes on more than tuition hikes

"CLASSE is organized along principles of direct democracy. Every decision is made by the members, in general assemblies where each student has the right to debate and vote on all actions and policies.
I cannot imagine that students would have remained on strike for six months, braving repression and the threat of losing their semester, if the decision to strike had been made by elected representatives, rather than decided each week by the students themselves.
If there is one message I hope people take away, it is that the success of Quebec’s movement is largely attributable to its democratic character. With this tour I do not want to spread our movement so much as our democratic ideals. If students across the country insist on holding real general assemblies, where they are empowered to collectively make decisions on issues that affect their lives, they can build their own movements, which fight for their own priorities.
And why stop with students? Democratic control over our everyday affairs can be extended elsewhere, to our workplaces and neighbourhoods."

The students see that their tuition hike is a symptom of deeper problems within society. And the way they propose fixing those problems is direct action by the people.  But not through organizing a hierarchical structure. Rather, through constant direct communication between all participants.  Everyone involved gets a say, not just a role.

As I've written before, there are problems with this organizational structure. But on the other hand, it is very empowering for those involved.  I continue to believe that non-hierarchical organizational structures are the way to go, but there needs to be tweeking based on the size of the group and the complexity of the goals.  Meanwhile, I'm excited!

No comments: