85 arrested as student protests over tuition fees turn violent in Montreal - Macleans.ca

85 arrested as student protests over tuition fees turn violent in Montreal


It’s a sobering morning in Montreal, with people walking along shattered windows and debris left by an angry mob of student protesters who clashed with police yesterday evening. The Montreal Gazette says that as talks between student groups and politicians over a proposed hike for post-secondary tuition fees broke off Wednesday, about 5,000 people took to the streets and a pacific protest quickly got out of control.

Police “used batons, pepper spray and percussion bombs to disperse the crowd” and 85 people have been arrested.

It’s been 11 weeks since protests began over the Jean Charest’s government proposed fee increases. As the Globe reports today, students are losing popular support in Quebec as their demands become more and more vague, and some of the groups in negotiations with the government have failed to condemn the use of violence.

From the Globe:

Some students are now casting this as a deeper struggle – with the phrase, “Quebec Spring,” emanating from the lips of several protesters who Wednesday issued a medley of demands: the resignation of Premier Jean Charest, a general election, the complete elimination of tuition, or even broader social change.

The Globe goes on to suggest that this might even be a political win for Charest and the Quebec Liberals, who could seize the opportunity to call for an election while they continue to score good points with those opposing the student protests—and avoid an election later in the year, when focus could return to allegations of corruption within the Charest administration.





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85 arrested as student protests over tuition fees turn violent in Montreal

  1. Idiots.

    The government will not change unless enough people join up with your cause.
    Turning to violence will not cause people to join unless you have enough strength to violently overthrow the government, thus leaving people no option but to join, or unless you have enough conviction to turn to full blown terrorism, thus causing people to join because they fear you more than the believe in the government’s ability to protect them.

    Anything less than those two options simply pisses people off. Those who may have been marginally on your side before will disavow you, and those who are against you will only have their opinions solidified. It can even cause some of your stronger supporters to go silent, lest they too be seen as part of the violence.

    From what I’ve seen so far, you idiots in Montreal doing this don’t have the strength to take down the government, nor the lack of morals to terrorize the population. So about the best thing that can come out of this is if the rest of your group take on you who are causing the violence. Publicly capture you and deliver you up to the authorities and your cause might sway some public opinion back. Short of that, you’re just setting yourselves up to fail.

  2. I’ll refer you to this 4 hours footage of the whole manif from yesterday. As you will see, it is nothing like a “big riot”. It’s pacific until 2:00:00 on the footage. Then polices charge pacific students.


    Please stop your biased coverage of the events. It is not students who started it. CLEARLY!

  3. Maclean’s should also take note that at every event I’ve seen from the students there is a high sovereignist presence — why would students protesting debt need to fly fleur-de-lis flags and chant about independence?

    I think there is Parti Québecois backing of some of these events, and that some of the grassroots is astroturf — the common denominator being to foster hatred for the provincial Liberals.

  4. Based on daily experience, I can tell you this is a franco issue. The anglos and allos are few and far in between.

    Oh and here’s a slice of Montreal life: mid-week I was having lunch with some work colleagues near downtown at a $17-per-person buffet place. One of us noted that it was unusual to be in a resto full of teens/young people at a weekday lunchtime. Then we noticed that to a one these were red-cloth-wearing class boycotters (it’s a boycott, people, not a strike — you can’t strike from classes, you can only boycott the courses you already paid for … and will have to pay for anew and repeat). Yep, so a whole resto full of smartphone-toting protestors who were taking a rather pricey break (a $5 sandwhich or fallafel vs. $17-pre-tax lunch?) from jamming the streets, blocking bridges, slowing down the metro, tossing bricks from highway overpasses…

    Yeah, Quebec’s distinct, alright…