So many of you are aware of the situation in Montreal, the student protests that have developed into a Province-wide action in the wake of Bill 78 – a law which restricts freedom of assembly, protest, or picketing on or near university grounds, and anywhere in Quebec without prior police approval, and which also places restrictions upon education employees right to strike.
For those of us outside of Quebec, our friend and May 2012 Feature, Alessandra Naccarto, has offered something else we, as poets, can do in solidarity. Her message is below:
I have spent too long wondering what I can do to support the movement in Quebec without actually doing anything. While my heart is marching in the streets, banging pots & pans – I can’t get my feet to Montreal.
But this is something we can do. I am asking people to join me in creating a collective pool of 78 poems over a 78 hour period.
This project is as much about protest as it is about solidarity. Our friends (whether we know them or not), our fellow artists, sixteen year olds and grandparents are getting harassed, beat up and arrested for assembling peacefully. There are things to speak of, and people to speak to.
This is an important moment poets from across our country to turn their pens and voices towards the political issues of our own country, to speak against visible state repression and support those who are putting their physical bodies and personal safety on the line to hold the government accountable.
We are also witnessing beautiful acts of community and the biggest protest gatherings in Canadian history. This is something I want to be part of, even if I can’t be in those streets. And I hope you will join me in it. Even if it’s just a haiku.
Write a new piece. Film an old one on your phone. Get into the streets and perform a poem in solidarity.
Starting June 1st at midnight, submissions will be posted as they come in on a central blog and highlighted on Litlive.ca. Please share this note and information as widely as possible. Recruit your favorite writers. And get ready for a storm of poetry.
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