On Wednesday, November 2, 2016, thousands of students fighting for free education in Canada took action on 58 campuses in 36 cities across every province.
We have never been so bold in our demand for free education now. November 2 marked a point from which the Canadian Federation of Students will not turn back. Exorbitant tuition fees and record levels of student debt have created a crisis that demands fundamental change. The only solution is the outright elimination of tuition fees in favour of a universal system of public post-secondary education.
Why? Because we believe that education is a right, not a privilege. We believe that everyone must have access to strong social services without the barrier of cost or fear of incurring debt. We believe that at the core of a just, equitable and fair society in Canada is a system of fully public post-secondary education.
From here, we build. Our National Day of Action and call to eliminate tuition fees has received the support of more than 90 labour unions, civil society organizations and community groups. We must all continue to work together as a coalition in order to expand popular support for free education in our communities. We need to strengthen the Pan-Canadian movement by working in solidarity with the powerful students of Québec. We will continue to build-up local organizing power. We need to continue to present strong research proposals. We will continue to mobilize on-the-ground and take direct action to pressure political decision makers.
When we win, it will be because we have convinced our neighbours, our families and our friends to demand their right to education. When we win, post-secondary education will be available to all students as a universal public service. When we win, every student will be treated with fairness and respect. We can do better than this broken system that turns students away.
And united, we will win.