Grosso modo:

Louis Roy déplore que des membres de la CSN ont de la difficulté à comprendre qu’il faut soutenir les étudiants.


Louis Roy aimerait bien une grève générale.


Louis Roy rêve d’un gouvernement Québec Solidaire.


Louis Roy ne se fie pas aux élections pour obtenir de vrais changements.


Festival des Solidarités unites progressives in call for ‘Common Front’ against austerity


Next up was Louis Roy, the President of the CSN, Quebec’s second largest trade union federation. He spoke of the challenges he faces within his own membership, getting them to understand that the unions must support the students, because their struggle is the same one facing the unions.


Unions do not exist just to fight for working conditions. They are part of a larger social struggle. He emphasized the need to bring opposition to the Budget into the mix, and oppose Harper and Charest together.


He spoke of the need for a new common front, one which can unite students, workers, environmentalists and members of other movements in a broad based struggle against a broken system.


When he mentioned casseroles in passing, a chorus of pots and pans once again rang out in the crowd.


He brought up the idea of a general strike,and reminded the audience there have only ever been two in the history of the province, and one of those was spontaneous. There are huge challenges to organizing a general strike, and huge risks if it fails to succeed. He described himself as a « realistic optimist », and said that he wasn’t sure if a general strike was possible, but that if there was an opening, he would call for one.


Perhaps most interestingly, he was unflinching in his critique of Pauline Marois’ Parti Quebecois. « This struggle is not just against the political party of Jean Charest, if we change governments it will change absolutely nothing. » He went on to say that Quebec Solidaire was the only political party which represented our movement, and he would continue to dream of a QS government, but in the meantime we cannot rely on the ballot box to effect real change.


So, while the unions have traditionally been big backers of the PQ, it appears they’ll be entering our next election without the support of the CSN.


He argued that the issue was not sovereignty, but governments across the country which are dismantling our democracy.