Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Montreal Tuesday to mark the 100th day of the Quebec movement against tuition hikes, and express anger over an emergency law that some say violates Charter rights.
More than 100 people were arrested Tuesday night as police declared sections of the large protest illegal—according to the hastily passed Bill 78, protests consisting of more than 50 people must be pre-arranged with police at least eight hours in advance. But followers of the more radical student union, the CLASSE, have been encouraged to defy the law, and a small group split off from the main protest Tuesday, which was following a route given to police.
“We want to make the point that there are tens of thousands of citizens who are against this law who think that protesting without asking for a permit is a fundamental right,” CLASSE spokesman Gabrielle Nadeau-Dubois told the CBC while marching with protesters. “That is part of the objective of the protest today, to underline the fact that this law is absurd and inapplicable.”
According to police, some protesters threw projectiles and wore masks, breaking a new Montreal bylaw that bans demonstrators from concealing their faces. As a result, sections of the protest were declared illegal, and police moved in to make arrests, the Canadian Press reports. It was the 29th evening march on Montreal streets since the movement began in February.