The Right To Protest

Why is the whole world protesting?

If you’ve been watching the news recently, you’ll see that protests are becoming more and more popular all over the world. From Egypt, to Greece, to North America, people are marching in the streets to fight for a better life. Here in Canada, we’ve had our eyes glued to the the Quebec protests, where thousands of university students have been protesting tuition hikes for over 100 days.

An emergency law called Bill 78 was passed this month to prevent protesters from assembling, protesting, or picketing on university campuses in Quebec without approval from police. The Huffington Post defines the Bill as a “draconian attempt to quell massive student protests that have taken over Quebec streets”. The bill limits the ability to protest by requiring groups to get police approval for demonstrations and restricting where they can take place, among other provisions. People in Quebec quickly responded to Bill 78 in a peaceful protest dubbed “Casseroles” because the protesters were carrying pots and pans. The video below of the peaceful pots and pans protest went viral for good reason. With its black and white film, gentle music, and smiling faces, it reframes the noisy situation, which has been depicted in the media as hostile and out of control.

The Pots and Pans Video – Show this film to your English students.

Show this film to your students and get them talking about the right to protest. You may also be interested in a Montreal bylaw that just passed, banning protesters from wearing masks. A federal bill preventing masks at riots is currently being considered by the Canadian government.

Go to Protests lesson plan.
ESL Lesson Plan on ProtestsIf your students are interested in this topic, we hope you’ll also try our NEW lesson plan on Protests. This Discussion Starters lesson includes a warm-up, a reading (with audio), vocabulary review activities, comprehension and discussion questions, and an optional research assignment. At ESL-Library we know that your English students want to talk about real issues. If you are not a subscriber but are considering a membership,  the audio for this lesson will be released as a preview to this lesson plan in our Podcast on Wednesday, June 6th.

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