[WSMDiscuss] Fwd: FRIDAY 'Rally on Wheels' for Laurentian and Public Education !

Jai Sen jai.sen at cacim.net
Mon Apr 26 19:34:13 CEST 2021


Monday, April 26, 2021

Canada in movement…, Turtle Island in movement…, Solidarity in movement…, Resistance in movement…, Academics in movement…

[Some of you may know of the ideological and existential violence that has been / is being inflicted by the university management and by the government of Ontario on the students, faculty, and non-academic staff of Laurentian University in Sudbury, in ‘northern’ Canada - and also on the community of First Nations and Francophone peoples within which the university exists; but, I suspect, many of you may not. 

[Here, first, in both English and French, is a post for a solidarity action coming up across Canada aka Turtle Island this coming Friday, which gives a rich background, but in addition I also refer you to the video recording of a spectacularly good webinar that was organised by the same folks on Friday April 16, for a live witness to what is going on, and also in terms of resistance :

A recording of the event is available in podcast form here:  2021-04-16-Laurentian What Can We Do.m4a <https://ocufa.sharepoint.com/:u:/g/ESdeVdwSoV9LtQ_QQLjrfqABkFaxKnuF1UQ9EmnvcMl5lQ?e=hFp1FK>. I encourage you to share the recording widely with your friends, colleagues, and networks. 

[Truly, this was perhaps the *best webinar I have had the privilege of attending during this new age of webinars that we have entered since early last year – and so I have also pasted in below, right at the end, the follow-up message that followed it; and so please spread this word widely and wisely ! :

This coming Friday, April 30, in and across Canada / on Turtle Island :

'Rally on Wheels' - for Laurentian and for Public Education !

Honor Brabazon and others

            In solidarity, and in celebration of creative, sustained, and powerful organising !



> Begin forwarded message:
> From: Honor Brabazon <hbrabazo at uwaterloo.ca>
> Subject: FRIDAY 'Rally on Wheels' for Laurentian and Public Education!
> Date: April 26, 2021 at 12:23:34 PM EDT
> To: Honor Brabazon <honor.brabazon at uwaterloo.ca>

(La version française suit.)


On Friday, April 30th, join us at the ‘rally on wheels' in your city or participate online to protest the decimation of Laurentian University, the chronic underfunding of post-secondary education, and the political interference by Premier Ford and his government, which has failed to provide emergency funding to Laurentian or to stop the CCAA process—once again putting profit over people in this province.  Help us to send a strong message to governments across Canada and university administrators everywhere that university communities will not accept what is happening at Laurentian and are joining together within and across campuses to fight ongoing attacks on our universities and our communities.  


On February 1st, Laurentian University declared insolvency after decades of underfunding and years of financial mismanagement by the University’s Board.  The Board had concealed the nature and extent of the University’s financial situation from faculty and from established university accountability mechanisms.  However, the Minister of Colleges and Universities, Ross Romano, knew months earlier and failed to act.  

Instead of following the financial exigency procedures detailed in its collective agreements, the University chose to invoke the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA), which initiated a  secretive court-supervised insolvency process that was designed for private corporations and had never before been implemented at a public university.  Through this insolvency process, the University cut half of its programs (58 of 107 undergraduate programs and 11 of 33 graduate programs), defederated from its affiliated institutions, and terminated one-third of its faculty and 41 staff (110 of 361 faculty members).  Faculty have been denied the severance pay in their collective agreements and have had their pensions frozen.  Many students have had their programs disappear mid-degree and have lost their supervisors and dissertation committees.

As part of the CCAA process, these programs were cut based on enrolment numbers and revenue generation, not their quality or broader significance.  A disproportionate number of humanities programs, French-language programs, and programs in traditionally female-led areas were cut, and the long-standing Indigenous Studies program at Laurentian’s affiliated University of Sudbury was eliminated when Laurentian defederated.  These programs were crucial to Laurentian's groundbreaking tricultural mandate <https://laurentian.ca/faculty/arts/our-tricultural-mandate> to provide 'an outstanding university experience, in English and French, with a comprehensive approach to Indigenous education’, as well as to its commitment to building Franco-Ontarien culture and its obligations under the TRC Calls to Action.  Moreover, a bilingual university with a bilingual mandate cannot do without a French Studies department, not least when that department offered compulsory courses to many programs that were not eliminated.  The elimination of programs such as Labour Studies, Environmental Science, the only French-language Midwifery program outside Quebec, and the Indigenous Studies program will further damage Laurentian's deep ties to local, working class, Indigenous, and Northern communities.  Nor were Laurentian's Physics, Mathematics, Philosophy, and many Humanities programs spared.  Further details on the cuts and their significance can be found here <https://rabble.ca/news/2021/04/laurentian-university-crisis-story-political-interference-and-defunding-education>, here <https://www.ledevoir.com/opinion/idees/598830/idees-l-echec-de-l-universite-laurentienne>, and here <https://anishinabeknews.ca/2021/03/13/opinion-is-indigenous-education-in-jeopardy-at-laurentian-university/>.   

WHAT:  Rally on wheels! (a COVID-safe protest from your car, bike, or scooter)

WHEN:  Friday, April 30th, 11a.m.-12p.m. (with online programming beginning at 10a.m.) 

WHERE:  Multiple cities (currently Toronto, Ottawa, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Sudbury) live-streamed via the Scholar Strike Canada site <https://scholarstrikecanada.ca/>

WHO:  All those angered by the recent decision to eliminate half of Laurentian University's academic programs and fire one-third of Laurentian's faculty and 41 of its staff       

WHY:  On April 30th at noon, many of those who have been terminated will officially lose their jobs.  

HOW:  Sign up here <https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSejejsWtmHh-ry_DXZxmPHcxjfNHMpoaTMp5KxcG4kVdo63Hg/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1&flr=0> to join your city’s rally or get involved in the organizing.  Details to come regarding each rally and how you can participate online.  



Le vendredi 30 avril, joignez-vous à nous lors du "rallye roulant " dans votre ville ou participez en ligne pour vous manifester contre la décimation de l'Université Laurentienne, le sous-financement chronique de l'éducation postsecondaire et l'ingérence politique du premier ministre Ford et de son gouvernement, qui n'ont pas réussi à fournir un financement d'urgence à la Laurentienne ou à arrêter le processus de la LACC - une fois de plus, le profit passe avant les gens dans cette province.  Aidez-nous à envoyer un message fort aux gouvernements de tout le Canada et aux administrateurs d'universités de partout, à savoir que les communautés universitaires n'accepteront pas ce qui se passe à la Laurentienne et qu'elles s'unissent au sein des campus et entre eux pour lutter contre les attaques continues contre nos universités et nos communautés.  

Antécédents :

Le 1er février, l'Université Laurentienne a déclaré son insolvabilité après des décennies de sous-financement et des années de mauvaise gestion financière de la part du conseil d'administration de l'Université.  Le conseil d'administration avait dissimulé la nature et l'étendue de la situation financière de l'Université au corps professoral et aux mécanismes de reddition de comptes établis par l'université.  Cependant, le ministre des Collèges et Universités, Ross Romano, était au courant des mois plus tôt et n'a pas agi.  

Au lieu de suivre les procédures d'urgence financière décrites dans ses conventions collectives, l'Université a CHOISI d'invoquer la Loi sur les arrangements avec les créanciers des compagnies (LACC), qui a mis en place un processus d'insolvabilité secret supervisé par les tribunaux, conçu pour les sociétés privées et jamais appliqué auparavant à une université publique.  Dans le cadre de ce processus d'insolvabilité, l'université a supprimé la moitié de ses programmes (58 des 107 programmes de premier cycle et 11 des 33 programmes de deuxième cycle), s'est séparée de ses institutions affiliées et a licencié un tiers de son corps professoral et 41 membres du personnel (110 des 361 membres du corps professoral).  Les professeurs se sont vus refuser les indemnités de départ prévues dans leurs conventions collectives et leurs pensions ont été gelées.  De nombreux étudiants ont vu leur programme disparaître à mi-parcours et ont perdu leurs superviseurs et leurs comités de thèse.

Dans le cadre du processus de la LACC, ces programmes ont été supprimés en fonction du nombre d'inscriptions et des revenus générés, et non en fonction de leur qualité ou de leur importance.  Un nombre disproportionné de programmes de sciences humaines, de programmes de langue française et de programmes dans des domaines traditionnellement dirigés par des femmes ont été supprimés, et le programme d'études autochtones de longue date de l'Université de Sudbury, affiliée à la Laurentienne, a été éliminé lors de la défédéralisation de la Laurentienne.  Ces programmes étaient essentiels au mandat triculturel <https://laurentian.ca/faculty/arts/our-tricultural-mandate> novateur de la Laurentienne, qui consistait à offrir " une expérience universitaire exceptionnelle, en anglais et en français, avec une approche globale de l'éducation autochtone ", ainsi qu'à son engagement à bâtir la culture franco-ontarienne et à ses obligations en vertu des appels à l'action de la Commission de vérité et la réconciliation du Canada (CVR).  Quelle université se disant bilingue et ayant le bilinguisme pour mandat coupe un programme d'études françaises qui offre des cours obligatoires à plusieurs programmes qui ont été épargnés ?  L'élimination de programmes tels que les études du travail, les sciences de l'environnement, le seul programme de sages-femmes en français à l'extérieur du Québec, et le programme d'études autochtones portera encore plus atteinte aux liens profonds de la Laurentienne avec les communautés locales, autochtones, et ouvrières localisées dans le Nord.  Les programmes de physique, de mathématiques, de philosophie, et de sciences humaines de la Laurentienne n'ont pas non plus été épargnés.  Vous trouverez plus de détails sur les coupes et leur signification ici <https://rabble.ca/news/2021/04/laurentian-university-crisis-story-political-interference-and-defunding-education>, ici <https://www.ledevoir.com/opinion/idees/598830/idees-l-echec-de-l-universite-laurentienne> et ici <https://anishinabeknews.ca/2021/03/13/opinion-is-indigenous-education-in-jeopardy-at-laurentian-university/>.   

QUOI : Rallye roulant ! (une manifestation sécurisée, depuis votre voiture, votre vélo ou votre scooter, à l'ère de COVID)

QUAND :  Le vendredi 30 avril, de 11h à 12h (avec une programmation en ligne dès 10h). 

OÙ :  Plusieurs villes (Toronto, Ottawa, Kitchener-Waterloo, et Sudbury, pour l'instant) diffusées en direct sur le site de Scholar Strike Canada <https://scholarstrikecanada.ca/>.

QUI :  Toutes les personnes désirant montrer leur désarroi au sujet de la récente décision d'éliminer la moitié des programmes d'études de l'Université Laurentienne et de licencier un tiers de son corps professoral et 41 de ses employés.       

POURQUOI : Le 30 avril à midi, un grand nombre de ceux qui ont été licenciés perdront officiellement leur emploi.  

COMMENT :  Inscrivez-vous ici <https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSejejsWtmHh-ry_DXZxmPHcxjfNHMpoaTMp5KxcG4kVdo63Hg/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1&flr=0> pour participer au rassemblement qui aura lieu dans  votre ville ou pour prêter main forte à l'organisation de cette activité.  Des détails sur chaque rassemblement et sur la façon dont vous pouvez participer en ligne sont à venir. 


> Begin forwarded message:
> From: Honor Brabazon <honor.brabazon at uwaterloo.ca>
> Subject: Laurentian: What Can We Do?—Recording + SOLIDARITY ACTION Friday the 30th
> Date: April 23, 2021 at 9:15:20 AM EDT
> To: Honor Brabazon <honor.brabazon at uwaterloo.ca>

To all who registered for Laurentian: What Can We Do?,

Warm thanks to the 500(!) people who attended the event last Friday and to all 850 of you who registered. This level of interest on such short notice demonstrates the extensive concern and anger about what is happening at Laurentian that is being felt throughout Ontario and Canada, and beyond.  

A recording of the event is available in podcast form here:  2021-04-16-Laurentian What Can We Do.m4a <https://ocufa.sharepoint.com/:u:/g/ESdeVdwSoV9LtQ_QQLjrfqABkFaxKnuF1UQ9EmnvcMl5lQ?e=hFp1FK> 2021-04-16-Laurentian What Can We Do.m4a. I encourage you to share the recording widely with your friends, colleagues, and networks. 

The event was a powerful show of support for Laurentian faculty, students, and staff, and for the communities in which Laurentian is so deeply embedded.  It also provided a strong basis for the kind of cross-campus solidarity network discussed in the event, which we will need if we hope to stop the devastation at Laurentian, to prevent similar processes from happening elsewhere, and to end the reframing and restructuring of the university that we’ve been seeing for decades across the sector. 

At the end of the meeting, we circulated a sign-up sheet for anyone interested in getting involved in this organizing: if you missed it, please sign uphere <https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdO5WdwPU1eUvTbqRfUi0sheNaq2SRvU10SixrJoyyIsym2IQ/formResponse> (or e-mail me at honor.brabazon at uwaterloo.ca <mailto:honor.brabazon at uwaterloo.ca> if you don’t have a Gmail account—with apologies).

Finally, please stay tuned for information on a Solidarity Action for Laurentian taking place next Friday morning, April 30th.  Save the date! 

Thanks again and keep well,


Honor Brabazon, BA (Hons), MA, DPhil (Oxon) 
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Legal Studies
St. Jerome’s University in the University of Waterloo

290 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G3
+1 519 884-1111 ext. 28257
honor.brabazon at uwaterloo.ca <mailto:honor.brabazon at uwaterloo.ca>
https://www.sju.ca/honor-brabazon <https://www.sju.ca/honor-brabazon>

Editor of Neoliberal Legality <https://www.routledge.com/Neoliberal-Legality-Understanding-the-Role-of-Law-in-the-Neoliberal-Project/Brabazon/p/book/9781138684171>: Understanding the Role of Law in the Neoliberal Project (Routledge, 2017)


Jai Sen

Independent researcher, editor; Senior Fellow at the School of International Development and Globalisation Studies at the University of Ottawa

jai.sen at cacim.net <mailto:jai.sen at cacim.net> &  <mailto:jsen at uottawa.ca>jsen at uottawa.ca <mailto:jsen at uottawa.ca>
Now based in Ottawa, Canada, on unsurrendered Anishinaabe territory (+1-613-282 2900) and in New Delhi, India (+91-98189 11325)

Check out something new – including for copies of the first two books below, at a discount, and much more : The Movements of Movements <https://movementsofmovements.net/>
Jai Sen, ed, 2017 – The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ?.  New Delhi : OpenWord and Oakland, CA : PM Press.  Ebook and hard copy available at PM Press <http://www.pmpress.org/>; hard copy only also at The Movements of Movements <https://movementsofmovements.net/>
Jai Sen, ed, 2018a – The Movements of Movements, Part 2 : Rethinking Our Dance.  Ebook and hard copy available at PM Press <http://www.pmpress.org/>; hard copy only also at The Movements of Movements <https://movementsofmovements.net/>
Jai Sen, ed, 2018b – The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ?  (Indian edition). New Delhi : AuthorsUpfront, in collaboration with OpenWord and PM Press.  Hard copy available at MOM1AmazonIN <https://www.amazon.in/dp/9387280101/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1522884070&sr=8-2&keywords=movements+of+movements+jai+sen>, MOM1Flipkart <https://www.flipkart.com/the-movements-of-movements/p/itmf3zg7h79ecpgj?pid=9789387280106&lid=LSTBOK9789387280106NBA1CH&marketplace=FLIPKART&srno=s_1_1&otracker=search&fm=SEARCH&iid=ff35b702-e6a8-4423-b014-16c84f6f0092.9789387280106.SEARCH&ppt=Search%20Page>, and MOM1AUpFront <http://www.authorsupfront.com/movements.htm>
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