Last week, the "casserole protests" returned to Montreal, Quebec just as students around the world prepare to return to campuses.
College students in Quebec began marching through streets banging pots and pans back in the spring in response to the provincial government's introduction of Bill 78 -- a controversial law that scaled back free speech rights. The casserole protests are inspired by the "cacerolazos" of Chile in 1971.
Students in Quebec have been on strike while protesting against a proposal to increase tuition by C$325 a year over several years. Within five years, university tuition would increase by nearly 60 percent -- something to which American college students can certainly relate.
American protests against tuition increases and education cuts are commonplace by now, and students around the world have joined the cause of education reform in the face of ballooning costs.
Take a look at what student activists have been protesting around the world in the slideshow below:
Chilean Education Protests
Students began demonstrating after the Chilean government revealed that some higher education leaders took home profits from their institutions. <em>The Atlantic</em> <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/07/free-tuition-and-free-speech-a-guide-to-chiles-student-protest-movement/259326/" target="_hplink">reports</a> students have marched through the streets with banners and placards, some reading "Chao, lucro!" (goodbye, profits). The BBC <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-18102655" target="_hplink">reports tens of thousands</a> of students took to the streets demanding free education. Chile is the only country in Latin America that charges for a university education.
Mexican Protest Against PRI Candidate Enrique Peña Nieto
Students <a href="http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/opinion/activists-get-media-savvy/story-e6frgcko-1226416123795" target="_hplink">from from 119 universities</a>, both private and public, joined a protest movement called Yo Soy 132 against presidential PRI candidate Enrique Peña Nieto and his party. The <em>Guardian</em> reported the PRI party had been paying dominant Mexican TV networks millions for favorable coverage. Democracy Now! <a href="http://www.democracynow.org/2012/7/3/headlines/mexican_students_protest_election_results_lopez_obrador_refuses_to_concede" target="_hplink">reports</a> students in Mexico protested against the election of Peña Nieto, claiming there had been voter fraud. According <a href="http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0712/78198.html#ixzz22mLYRbcw" target="_hplink">to the AP</a>, students, unionists and leftists marched after the election carrying signs reading, "Peña, how much did it cost to become president?" PHOTO: Sign reads "I am 132, for freedom of speech" <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:YoSoy132.jpg" target="_hplink">(Via Wikimedia Commons, Marianna Fierro)</a>
Quebec Student Strike
A proposal by Premier Jean Charest to increase university tuition by almost 60 percent over five years set off an ongoing protest by students around Quebec. More than <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2012/05/31/quebec-students-courchesne-negotiations.html" target="_hplink">150,000 students went on strike</a>. Demonstrations and marches became commonplace, and the students caused such an uproar that the <a href="http://www.ctvnews.ca/quebec-to-suspend-school-semester-amid-protests-1.824000" target="_hplink">Government passed Bill 78</a>: a law which restricts free speech rights and place restrictions on the right of education employees to strike. Up until 2007, public tuition in Quebec was $1,668. <em>IN THE PHOTO: Protesters opposing Quebec student tuition fee hikes demonstrate in Montreal, Wednesday,Aug. 1, 2012. A disorderly scene erupted in downtown Montreal at the start of Quebec's election campaign as a night protest saw several arrests, injuries, and clashes with police. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Grham Hughes )</em>
Burmese student leaders gathered to commemorate the suppression of a student movement 50 years ago. Some of the activists were arrested allegedly without reason, seen as an attempt to crackdown on student activism. The BBC <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-18751203" target="_hplink">reports</a>:<blockquote>Activists say the detentions prove that the Burmese military still has repressive tendencies, despite recent reforms.</blockquote> There has also been a wave of labor unrest, <a href="http://www.npr.org/2012/08/06/158185304/myanmars-workers-exercise-rights-to-organize" target="_hplink">according</a> to NPR. <em>IN THE PHOTO: A protest in Burma, Banner reads "Non-violence National Movement" (Via Flickr) <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/17158481@N00/1437358565/" target="_hplink">(Via Flickr)</a></em>
New Zealand Education Protests
Students in New Zealand have also held protests against cuts to education, holding marches similar to those held by Occupy protesters in the U.S. <em>Image <a href="http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10821176" target="_hplink">via NZ Herald</a></em>
Student protesters at the University of Khartoum have been demonstrating against the regime of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. Reuters <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/08/us-sudan-protests-arrest-idUSBRE86707Z20120708" target="_hplink">reports</a>: <blockquote>The Arab-African country has so far avoided the sort of mass unrest that overthrew rulers in Egypt and Tunisia last year, but small anti-government demonstrations have broken out over the last three weeks, driven by rising anger over austerity measures and Bashir's 23 years in power.</blockquote> <em>Photo of UoK campus, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:University_of_Khartoum_001.JPG" target="_hplink">Wikimedia Commons: Petr Adam Dohnálek</a></em>
Guatemalan Education Reofrm Protests
Guatemalan students are <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-18684358" target="_hplink">protesting over education reforms</a> that would increase an individual's time spent in college. The ministers for education and the interior were injured during clashes between police and demonstrators.
Spain's Education Cuts, Unemployment Rate
Spain has witnessed massive protests by college students in the 15-M Movement. Fox News Latino <a href="http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/lifestyle/2012/08/01/education-cuts-force-spain-students-to-study-abroad/#ixzz22mWj5GNs" target="_hplink">reports</a> Spain's unemployment rate for people under 25 is at 53 percent, pushing many young people to leave the country as they start their careers. It's the </a></em><a href="http://www.lavozdegalicia.es/dinero/2011/04/02/0003_201104G2P26991.htm" target="_hplink">highest </a>unemployment rate in the European Union. <em>IN THE PHOTO: The Puerta del Sol square in Madrid became a focal point and a symbol during the protests. <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Puertadelsol2011.jpg" target="_hplink">(Via Wikimedia Commons, Fotograccion)
Italian Student Protests
Students in Italy have held some of the largest demonstrations in decades in <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdzfOlGm6is" target="_hplink">response</a> to education cuts. In 2010, <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/11/30/us-italy-protest-idUSTRE6AT4IF20101130" target="_hplink">college students blocked </a>roads and railway lines and occupied tourist sites around the country, according to Reuters. Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini had proposed spending cuts and time limits on research. Students held sit-ins outside of the parliament.