Quebec protests – a glossary

UPDATE JUNE 14, 2012: This glossary was first published on May 30, 2012. I’ve been updating it sporadically ever since. If there’s something you think I should add, please let me know.

Tonight’s the night folks from all over Canada and indeed the world are invited at 8 o’clock to turn their pots and pans into “weapons of liberation” and make noise to protest tuition hikes in Quebec and Bill 78.

A Facebook page explains Casseroles Night in Canada

An interactive map of Casseroles Night in Canada

But if you’re new to the terms/personalities that come up in discussions of Quebec protests, here’s a glossary:

Arnarchopanda: a Montreal philosophy professor who wears a panda bear suit to demos. He goes where he wants, is not a mascot and attends demos in the hopes of diffusing tension between police and protesters. He has even hugged riot police and there’s a song devoted to him. He has a Twitter account and a Facebook page. At a June 5, 2012 news conference Anarchopanda (real name Julien Villeneuve) announced he was challenging the constitutionality of P-6, Montreal’s municipal bylaw, in Quebec Superior Court.

Bananarchiste (a.k.a. Banane Rebelle, Mr. Banane or Anarchobanane): The guy who dresses up in a giant banana costume (with a huge anarchy symbol on the front) for the demos around Quebec City is the lead singer of local band Mise en Demeure. His profile rose even more with reports that police found an unusual poster in Québec Solidaire MNA Amir Khadir’s kitchen. The poster, an album cover for Mise en Demeure, is based on Eugène Delacroix’s 1830 painting Liberty Leading the People. But their album and poster, Mise en demeure guidant le peuple, includes depictions of Khadir as a revolutionary holding a gun and a dead, semi-nude Premier Jean Charest lying at the feet of Bananarchiste who represents Liberty. A terrific explanation and comparison of Delacroix’s painting and the Mise en Demeure poster/album cover may be found here

Bill 78: this Wikipedia entry explains it better than I can in a small space

#casseroles, #casseroleencours #CasserolesNightInCanada -Twitter hashtags for the Casseroles protests

CUTV Montreal: Concordia University Television, a campus/community TV station, provides gripping and sometimes disturbing livestream coverage of the evening and nighttime protests. Volunteer-run, they provide point-of-view commentary (I’ll leave it at that. The station is incredibly popular and is welcomed at the protests but is has its share of critics as well)

#ggi – a Twitter hashtag referencing grève générale illimitée or unlimited general strike

#loi78 – Twitter hashtag (in French) for Bill 78

#manifcrush, #manifdating – Twitter hashtags linked with @ManifDating, a Twitter account that aims to help activists find love after meeting at protests or activist events

#manifenbars – Twitter hashtag referring to journalists and other folks’ gatherings in bars (during?) after the protests

#manifencours –  a Twitter hashtag used to reference the protests when they’re happening (usually Montreal protests)

Maple Spring/le printemps érable: some people don’t like this comparison of Quebec protests to the Arab Spring uprising

P-6: A City of Montreal bylaw banning the wearing of masks at public protests and requiring protest organizers to give police a copy of their demo route A blog translating French press coverage of the student protest movement into English. The blog’s translators are volunteers and they aim to “balance the English media’s extremely poor coverage of the student conflict in Québec by translating media that has been published in French into English. ”

Red square: originates from Fremch expression “Carrément dans le rouge”= squarely in the red or squarely in debt. It’s the symbol of the protests. At demos you’ll see people wearing small squares made of red felt that they pin on their clothes or bags with safety pins

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