Student protests held in Montreal, Quebec City

Thousands march against tuition hike and Bill 78


Student protest in Montreal, photo by Shahk/Flikr

Quebec student group CLASSE expects between 10,000 and 20,000 people to take to the streets of Montreal and Quebec City on Friday to protest the provincial government’s plans to raise tuition.

“We think it’s important to remind the Charest government the crisis is not over, and we’ll continue to be in the streets, because we are still against the tuition hike and this is still our fight,” interim CLASSE spokesperson Hugo Bonin told the CBC. The nightly protests in the province have recently dwindled in size, something the CLASSE blames on students taking summer jobs and fatigue after months of demonstrations, some of which turned violent.

The CBC is reporting that CLASSE organizers in Montreal have not shared the route of their demonstration with police, contravening Bill 78 (recently criticized by the UN), which makes mandatory the sharing of protest plans with security forces. The demonstration route in Quebec City, however, has been given to police. The protests in Montreal are slated to commence at 2 p.m.

Update (4 p.m.): Thousands of people are marching through the streets of Montreal. According to the Gazette, initial projections being passed around—not totally reliable—put the number at around 100,000.


Student protests held in Montreal, Quebec City

  1. The protesting over student tuition fees that started in Quebec a hundred and twenty days ago has opened its hands from students to their elders and teachers. Sixty somethings are now marching in a land fueled by a great path of discontent. “You’re going to give my kid a $10 thousand dollar fine for what?”

    As in the tear gas summit of the Americas during the 4/20 of 2001 in Quebec City, those upset are focusing their energy mainly with and for people. We await medieval seige devices and catapults full of wet law books and hockey pucks.

    The multi-city protests haven’t been about tuition fees alone for a long time. The premier’s reaction to the protests has been an attempt to toss out a Charter of Rights that was certainly meant to exist during times of stress. The arrests are beyond those of the old days. A student leader faces a $35 thousand dollar fine for not speaking out against their beliefs. Passing a law of reverse onus on to student leaders shows the utter collapse of the premier’s strength as does passing a law to report meetings greater than fifty people to the authorities.

    If one should wear the mask of Guy Fawkes ala Michael Moore fame, like art, the Swiftonian satire draws major prison time. We are watching weakness and vanity along with moral collapse. The parents of Quebec don’t need an Omnibus Crime bill that is going to send their kids to jail for a joint. They don’t want to accept an Omnibus Budget bill that’s striking down the social contract through economic back doors. And doesn’t the back bone of our young people exceed those of most of our M.P.s? Oh Harper, what have you done? You’ve been locking up the peacemakers like Marc Emery and letting the tear gas go free.

    The thing is that, it is possible for protesting to become unreasonable and it can happen in the face of unreasonable rules. It’s possible for government to pass laws that people can’t live by. We’ve corrected bad laws and economic guidelines in the past. There’s something wrong and intellectual debate will be replaced by several hundred thousand people against whatever is in quivering charge.

    Since we’ve reached the point where the grandmothers and grandfathers have been entering the magical land standing up to authority and the wizardry of Mr. Charest, the question has been asked, are the flapable flustered felonious fellows of the House of Commons about ready to announce/whisper martial law? Will Harper throw up his hands as he has done with so much of our security and prosperity? Why does Harper hate Canadians so much? Does he regret raising the age for pension to 67 instead of lowering it to 63? Old folks are in on it, the outsiders are in on it. It’s a good time to get in on it and get a seat at the table. Is there any group not actually mad at Harper and the House? Is there anyone that Harper, the provoceteur, has not provoked and for whose gain? Canada is the richest country in the world.

    Six months ago the answer regarding martial law would have been, of course not and for what? Today the answer is not immediate, not absolutely clear and certain. Maybe Harper is scared the army would turn on him? With all the pushing and shoving and October history one wonders, but I certainly hope they wear only Canadian ensignia.

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