Quebec's teachers are planning another three days of strike action against cuts, starting on December 9th, if there is no progress in the ongoing talks. This is just the latest round in their campaigning, which has been part of wider strikes in the public sector including health and social services.

The teachers' action has been characterised by support from parents, who have formed human chains around schools, organised under the banner 'Je Protege mon ecole publique (I am protecting my public school)'. Students are also supporting the fight. They themselves were involved in an iconic fight for free education in 2012 which went on for many months and was reported around the world.

As well as striking and demonstrating, teachers have also been drawing attention to the real causes of austerity policies. As one activist told Labour Notes in an interview: 'It’s really frustrating, because the people managing the provincial government and supervising the negotiations all used to work for banks before they became ministers. They don’t have a lot of credibility to tighten our belts when they come from mega-corporations that make billions of dollars of profit every year.'

The Common Front which is organising the protests, blocked and occupied global consultancy firm KPMG in October. They explained: 'There’s lots of money going to fiscal havens with the help of that firm, so saying that we don’t have money for public services is just not true. If we have the political will to go and get that money, then we would have money for public services—and for other things as well.' One teachers' local staged a teach-in about the political power of banks at their local branch. 

In other words teachers, students and others are disrupting the narrative that there is no alternative to austerity and exposing where the problem really lies.