Que. student leader seeks donations to fight contempt of court verdict

MONTREAL – A prominent figure in Quebec’s student movement says he’ll appeal a contempt of court verdict — and he’s asking for money to finance the fight.

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, who has become a household name in Quebec, made the announcement Friday on the steps of the Montreal courthouse.

He said he doesn’t have the money to finance a legal battle and is asking for financial support. There’s a website soliciting donations on his behalf.

“Is freedom of speech contempt?” the site asks.

“The words he spoke, they are ours too. We accept them as our own and reiterate them. If there’s someone to convict, there are thousands of us to punish… There are thousands of us who recognize ourselves in this Maple Spring.”

A judge ruled this week that Nadeau-Dubois, the charismatic speaker and former spokesman for the hardline CLASSE student group, had advocated anarchy during Quebec’s student strife earlier this year.

A Quebec political party is already responding to the call.

The small left-wing party Quebec solidaire, the staunchest supporter of the student strikes, will invite members to contribute money to Nadeau-Dubois’ legal cause.

“We can agree or disagree with the tactics employed by the CLASSE,” said Francoise David, Quebec solidaire’s co-leader and one of its two elected members.

“Boiling the Maple Spring down to the conviction of one person, for everyone’s actions, frankly I find that indecent.”

She criticized the student who lodged the complaint against Nadeau-Dubois, saying she “wouldn’t be very proud” to be in his shoes.

The case stems from an allegation that Nadeau-Dubois encouraged students to ignore a court injunction handed down in Quebec City while doing a television interview last May.

His lawyer had pleaded ignorance and argued that there was no evidence Nadeau-Dubois was aware of the injunction. A Quebec Superior Court justice rejected the argument.

A few hundred Montrealers marched in support of Nadeau-Dubois last night. Nadeau-Dubois, who quit his role as student spokesman last summer, did not testify at the trial.

His official role during the strikes was as one of the CLASSE group’s several “co-spokespeople.” The group was anti-hierarchical and did not have a leader. It would hold general assemblies at which members would adopt positions that Nadeau-Dubois later explained in public.

But his firebrand style, good looks, and his group’s more ardent stance made him a media sensation at the height of the conflict.




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Que. student leader seeks donations to fight contempt of court verdict

  1. “consequences” for your actions, it is about time, now let’s see what happens next. A slap on the wrist, perhaps

  2. Hey punk would not give you the sweat off my —–!

  3. If being a spokesperson for a poorly-defined group which may or may not have broken any laws is illegal, Jason Kenney should have been indicted a long time ago. Just saying.

    Also, I seem to recall from PoliSci 101 that anarchy is a political system without a formal government or corporations, so I don’t know how encouraging others to not follow a court injunction constitutes “advocating anarchy”. While it may be unreasonable for ordinary people to know the difference, you’d think a judge should know this stuff. You’d also think some reporters might, too.

  4. How do you fight a French Fascist Government?

  5. I applaud the judges decision. Montreal just heard about the increase in taxes for security reasons, all of which stems from the student protests, that were so successful because of GND. Consequences for actions Mr. Dubois! – let’s hope the court has teeth and actually gives him a serious fine and at least some jail time.

  6. It is proper for the designated spokesman for Anarchism to be held accountable. After all, he wasn’t pontificating, he was advocating militant action. Be grateful that the rule of law is still in place.
    Voters in Laval elected his 20-year-old brother-in-arms to the provincial legislature. The cuteness factor played a big role. The kid had a winsome smile in front of his empty rhetoric. Relax, Gabriel, there’s a 20-year career of sitting around Quebec City, just wating for you as soon as a by-election is called. Followed by a generous pension.

  7. Though I consider M. Nadeau-Dubois to be an unscrupulous, manipulative and dangerous political operative, I cannot be supportive of the judgment in itself.

    The judgment refers to Mr. N-D’s comments on television, that the students in the exercise of their right to strike should erect picket lines, as a misappropriation, is right. But it is a misappropriation that is so common, one that I read in every newspaper in this country. The rights to strike and erect picket lines are framed in QC by the Labour Code which applies only to workers. Newspapers,politicians and Mr. N-Dubois should never combine the words students and strike as students can only vote to boycott their classes. But can we blame M. Nadeau-Dubois personally, send him to jail or fine him tens of thousands of dollars for this confusion in terms when everyone in the media and politics uses the wrong terms?
    I believe Mr. ND to be quite aware of this but in my mind there is something wrong with the judgment and I think it will be defeated on appeal. Which doesn`t change my position that M. Nadeau-Dubois is an unscrupulous person, but that is not a crime. He used his freedom of speech with the same manipulative vigor that Stephen Harper and his gang usedwhen they labelled Jack Layton Taliban Jack : if Mr. Layton was indeed conspiring with terrorists would he not have had to face the law, like Mr. Delisle ?

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