Red River of Protest Runs Through Montreal as Students
Massive demonstration in defiance of new anti-protest law
By Common Dreams staff
May 22, 2012
[Go to link to see twitter feed and live stream]
A red river of Canadians, mostly students, flowed through the
streets of Montreal this afternoon marking the 100th day of
protest against austerity cuts to education and a draconian
attempt by the Quebec government to squelch growing dissent.
Early estimates put the number of people in the hundreds of
thousands and images show kilometers of red-clad people
filling Montreal's wide boulevards.
An emergency law passed on Friday by the Quebec government -
Bill 78 - intended to restrict growing student protests in
the eastern Canadian province has done little to dissuade
massive numbers who came out today to protest Bill 78,
austerity cuts to education and increases in tuition.
"The fundamental rights under threat today need to be
Bill 78, which required protesters to submit their itinerary
to authorities in advance, was widely derided by student
activists. Though some student groups decided to comply, many
"The special law won't kill the student movement," Gabriel
Nadeau-Dubois, spokesman for the student group CLASSE, said
at a news conference on Monday. "The fundamental rights under
threat today need to be defended." The group defied the order
by not submitting an official itinerary for today's protest.
In a symbolic act of resistance, the student group encouraged
anyone against the law to post their photo on a new website,
the name of which translates as "Someone arrest me," reports
the Global Montreal. CLASSE reported the site was briefly
overloaded Monday and had already received more than 2,000
The passage of the law seems to have reinvigorated the
student movement, as one marcher tweeted: "Tuition fee
increases have barely been mentioned today. It is special law
that has the attention on students."
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