First Published: People’s Canada Daily News, Vol 6, No. 97, October 29, 1976
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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Soon after the events that took place in the third week of September (See PCDN Vol. 6, No. 71), the students studying technical administration started to protest the fact that they couldn’t continue their studies because of the explusion of their teachers. On Wednesday September 29, they met and decided to occupy the offices of the administration. specifically the office of the the director-general as a sign of protest against the expulsion of the two professors. They demanded that the two teachers be reinstated to their functions immediately. The director-general met them and arrogantly refused to discuss the issue and replied that it was “the responsibility of the director of the pedagogical services to sort out the problem they are facing”.
When the administration saw that the students were unsatisfied with their mystifications, the director-general and his cronies ran after the students and hurriedly proposed a meeting because they knew that the students from technical administration were now on the verge of mobilising the entire student body at the CEGEP despite the efforts of the fascist hooligans of the students’ association. So they asked for a meeting with the students and during this meeting. the administration (i.e. the director-general) could not justify why he resorted to expulsion of these two teachers. The students vigorously denounced the activities of the administration and their agents in the CEGEP and asked that the administration iminediately solve the problem of resuming the courses by reinstating the two teachers. They also demanded that once the courses are resumed the curriculum won’t be changed and they persisted in defending the curriculum put forward by the two expelled teachers. They also decided that on the Friday following the meeting they would invite their teachers to resume the courses in their classrooms. The teachers meanwhile, stayed outside the CEGEP selling QCP, available to all for questions, and especially the students who had problems in their courses. This was in spite of the adminstration’s order prohibiting them from the CEGEP grounds.
On Friday October 1st, the students from technical administration came in force to invite the teachers to their classrooms. It created a big uproar and the students were very glad to see the teachers back in their classrooms teaching normally the material at hand. Panic stricken, the administration sent a telegram the same evening to the teachers threatening them with a forced expulsion From the CEGEP by the police if they dared to set tool again on the CEGEP grounds. On Monday, October 4, the students once more invited their teachers to give their classes. However at lunchtime, when the communist students and teachers were selling revolutionary literature, the administration called the police into the CEGEP for the first time in many years. The police came and asked the comrades of CYUC(M-L) to identify themselves and “warned them” in front of the angry students of the CEGEP that “the next time they will be arrested it they keep on” with their activities.
On Wednesday, October 6, at the general student assembly called by the students’ association, AGECR, the fascist hooligans who have usurped the leadership of the students’ association, came forward with a notorious document filled with lies and slanders against CPC(M-L), the comrades of CYUC(M-L) and other progressive students and teachers at Rosemont and vilified the struggle waged by the revolutionary students at the CEGEP. They exposed themselves by putting forward many fascist proposals including one which was vigorously opposed by everyone. Their proposal was that in general they “opposed” the presence of the police force in the CEGEP, but taking into account the exceptional situation of expelling the communists from the CEGEP, they said that they wholeheartedly supported the police in their work against the communists. This further exposed their fascist nature and many students denounced them and the many activities undertaken by these lumpen elements sold out to the state and actively working for the police.
The following day the Committee in Defence of the Teachers at Rosemont issued a leaflet announcing to the students and teachers that the two teachers would be available from then on in the cafeteria to answer questions posed by anyone who wished to know what was going on. At 9:00 AM ,the police entered the CEGEP and attacked the teachers who were actively engaged in serious discussions with the students. Outraged by this fascist attack by the police, the students demanded that the police justify their presence in the CEGEP. As soon as they heard this, the riot squad charged into the students, molested quite a few and arrested one student who is active in the Defence Committee and who was denouncing them vigorously for their criminal activities. The two communist teachers and the one student were handcuffed and dragged out of the CEGEP before the outraged and angered students who were present. The two teachers were kept at police headquarters in Montreal for “disturbing the peace” at the CEGEP, and the police demanded that the teachers sign a statement that they would not set foot again on the CEGEP grounds. Of course, the teachers resolutely refused and they were kept in jail for the following days. On October 13, one teacher was released from jail while the other is still in custody. On October 20, the date on which both had to appear in court, the fascist judge – who is notorious for his “trials” against the“Maoists” (he was the one who sent to jail the comrades from McGill who fought against the zionist flunkeys and the state) – postponed the trial under the hoax that he didn’t feel like “having to do it” today. He said that given the fact that they didn’t have any lawyers, and because of this the trial would be lengthy, he was postponing the trial until the 27th, thus sending the teacher already imprisoned back to his cell.
Presently, the administration and their agents, and specifically those in the students’ association. are spreading slanders and rumours against the comrades of the Rosemont unit of CYUC(M-L). They are trying to build public opinion in favour of their crimes against the students and teachers now that their criminal activities are being exposed. The administration is writing various communiques “explaining’. their activities against the students and teachers and at the same time threatening the CEGEP community to keep quiet “or else”. It calls for “peace” in the CEGEP and for cooperation between the adminstration and various sectors of the community in the CEGEP. At the same time, contrary to the wishes of the majority of the teachers, various vacillating and conciliatory elements among the teachers in the teachers’ trade union, are either refusing to take up the struggle of the teachers as their own, or are raising all kinds of secondary questions to prove that to support the expelled teachers in impossible at this time. However, many many of the teachers have chosen sides and have come to certain conclusions regarding the actual situation in which they work and live.
This struggle at Rosemont has raised a great deal of interest among the students and teachers across the province. The issue is being discussed vigorously and many are taking the side of the revolutionary students and teachers who are fighting staunchly against the administration. The students have drawn conclusions from these events, such as how the state operates to smash the students’ associations when these fulfill their role of defending the basic interests of the students.
The Rosemont case is a case in point. It dearly shows that the state tries very hard to wipe out the students’ associations and annex them to the administration apparatus in every college, thus neutralising the actions that the students may take to resist the fascist attacks of the state. The teachers for their part, see that the teachers attacked at Rosemont were singled out and made an example of, for all those “radical” and “extremist” elements who “are the cause of the disturbance of the peace necessary for the educational process”. The revolutionary students and teachers are now actively organizing to fight back against the administration and its agents. They are actively working to isolate thea enemy to the maximum and prepare for struggle to Make The Rich Pay for the economic crisis.