Occupy, Indignados, et le Printemps Erable: Vers Un Agenda De Recherche

By Weinstock, Daniel | McGill Law Journal, December 2012 | Go to article overview

Occupy, Indignados, et le Printemps Erable: Vers Un Agenda De Recherche


Weinstock, Daniel, McGill Law Journal


Protests and demonstrations witnessed by many Western societies raise a number of questions of political and legal philosophy that researchers in these disciplines will need to take up if they want to make a useful contribution to the social debate that was imposed by the protagonists of the Occupy movement, the Indignados, or the citizens who took to the streets in Quebec at the time of Printemps erable. The most pressing issues seem to be the following: Do demonstrations and public protests harm democracy by not passing through formal institutions, or should they, under certain conditions, be seen as part of the democratic life? Second, what is the extent of the notion of a "strike"? Is it nonsense for a student association to claim that it can, just as a union of workers, take advantage of this pressure tactic? Third, what are the conditions that make it legitimate, in the context of a liberal democracy, to use civil disobedience? Finally, does the concept of private property, central to modern Western societies, exclude the possibility that even private property may have social functions, which may be this institution's underlying justification?

Les mobilisations populaires dont ont ete temoins plusieurs societes occidentales soulevent de nombreuses questions de philosophie politique et juridique que les chercheurs de ces disciplines devront s'approprier s'ils veulent contribuer de maniere utile au debat social que nous imposent les protagonistes du mouvement Occupy, les Indignados, ou encore les citoyens qui sont descendus dans la rue au Quebec au moment du Printemps Erable. Les questions les plus urgentes nous semblent etre les suivantes: les manifestations et protestations publiques font-elles une entorse a la democratie en ne passant pas par les institutions formelles, ou bien devraient-elles, a certaines conditions, etre percues comme faisant partie de la vie democratique? Deuxiemement, quelle est l'extension de la notion de << greve >>? S'agit-il d'un non-sens pour une association etudiante de pretendre qu'elle peut, au meme titre qu'un syndicat de travailleurs, se prevaloir de cet outil de pression? Troisiemement, quelles sont les conditions qui rendent legitime dans le contexte d'une democratie liberale le recours a la desobeissance civile? Enfin, la conception de la propriete privee, centrale aux societes occidentales modernes, exclut-elle que meme la propriete privee puisse avoir des fonctions sociales, en vertu desquelles cette institution tirerait peut-etre meme sa justification?

Introduction

I.   Quelles limites pour la participation citoyenne?

II.  Les etudiants peuvent-ils faire la greve?

III. La desobeissance civile et la defense de necessite

IV.  La propriete

Conclusion

Introduction

Nous avons ete les temoins ces dernieres annees de remarquables mobilisations populaires. Les historiens retiendront bien sur les soulevements qui ont permis a certains pays du monde arabe de se debarrasser de tyrans. Mais meme dans des democraties stables telles que le Canada, les Etats-Unis et l'Espagne, des citoyens se sont organises pour manifester leur mecontentement face a l'ordre etabli et pour exiger des changements. Qu'il s'agisse du mouvement << Occupy >>, qui a investi de nombreuses places publiques a travers le monde (a commencer par le parc Zuccotti, aux abords de Wall Street a New York), des manifestations des Indignados, ou encore du << Printemps erable >> quebecois, ces manifestations ont demontre qu'une proportion impressionnante des citoyens de democraties avancees etaient disposee a prendre la rue pour se faire entendre par les autorites.

L'essentiel des revendications de ces manifestants se situe dans le domaine de la justice distributive. Face a un systeme de speculation financiere et immobiliere dont les divers dysfonctionnements semblent affecter de maniere disproportionnee les petites gens, ils demandent, de maniere parfois inchoative, que soit repensee notre maniere de produire et de distribuer la richesse. …

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