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Let's organize a protest against hooligans! Am I the only person in this city who cares enough to propose something like that?

 

Protest against proposed tuition hikes starts calm but ends with tear gas, charges

 

 

BY PEGGY CURRAN, THE GAZETTE APRIL 1, 2011

 

 

You just knew things were going to get ugly when the boys in the black hoodies pulled the kerchiefs up over their faces.

 

Thursday's protest against Quebec's plan to raise university tuition by $325 a year over a five-year period started cheerfully enough.

 

It was lunchtime in Victoria Square, and striking CEGEP students wearing red clown noses and silly pants squared off against Montreal police sporting red baseball caps designating their own discontent.

 

Music blared from a loudspeaker as students hoisted placards denouncing the measures that Finance Minister Raymond Bachand announced in his St. Patrick's Day budget. A young man in funereal top hat and tail coat swung an effigy of premier Jean Charest. There was a girl on stilts and a boy wearing a Tête à Claques fright wig and juggling bowling pins. Wasn't that a party. Traffic snarled, yet motorists waved and truck drivers honked in support. Along the sidewalk, observers seemed more bemused than annoyed by the energy and enthusiasm of the boisterous students snaking through the downtown core.

 

For more than two hours, they wended their way from Victoria Square up Beaver Hall Hill, to the Hydro-Québec building, up St. Laurent and down St. Urbain before heading west along René Lévesque Blvd. for what was supposed to be their big finale in front of Premier Jean Charest's office on McGill College Ave.

 

"This is just the beginning," cautioned Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, a spokesperson for the Association pour un solidarité syndicale étudiante (ASSÉ), which claims to represent roughly 45,000 students across the province. "We will not accept this tuition hike. We'll keep fighting until the government reverses this decision."

 

The words were fierce, but the 17-year-olds playing hooky were more raucous and happy than belligerent.

 

But as students started to disperse and meander back to their buses, a handful of young men pulled scarves out of their hoodies so that only their eyes were showing.

 

As the men with scarves sauntered away, a few dozen protesters parked themselves on the sidewalk. Riot police, who had walked alongside the protesters for two hours, formed a human wall in front of the entrance to the premier's office, wearing helmets and carrying batons.

 

The mood was tense but still civil. A police officer bantered with one of the students, who tried to lead the other students in a chant. Then, poof, without warning, the students stood up and waved goodbye.

 

Moments later, a half-dozen police vans, lights flashing but sirens silent, roared by, en route to the Loto-Québec building on Sherbrooke St., where those boys in the hoods were trying to storm the offices of the coalition representing Quebec university rectors and principals.

 

Police used tear gas to quell the disturbance.

 

By the end of the afternoon, five protesters had been arrested, facing charges of mischief, assault on police officers and damage to property, including two police cars and a few luxury vehicles. Police said one person was injured in the melee trying to enter the Loto-Québec building.

 

The students, so desperate to woo public opinion to the justness of their cries for free education, had squandered that springtime goodwill.

 

It's pretty obvious this won't be the last Quebecers will hear from students outraged by the Liberals decision to finally boost university tuition fees a little closer to the Canadian average.

 

But if the protesters want to be taken seriously and treated like smart people deserving of a university education, they would do well to tell the hardliners to take a hike.

 

[email protected] montrealgazette.com twitter.com/peggylcurran

 

© Copyright © The Montreal Gazette

 

 

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Protest+against+proposed+tuition+hikes+starts+calm+ends+with+tear+charges/4539613/story.html#ixzz1II6xsTby

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the government should raise tuitions $100 dollars every time these protests are held, that will put an end to this stupidity fairly quickly,or better still start expelling students with low grades at the CEGEP level ( it's called academic probation at Mcgill)

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the government should raise tuitions $100 dollars every time these protests are held, that will put an end to this stupidity fairly quickly,or better still start expelling students with low grades at the CEGEP level ( it's called academic probation at Mcgill)

 

Yes! We should also make any form of protestation illegal!

 

Encore une fois une gang cagoulé qui viens foutre la merde..., il y en a probablement pas un de ceux la qui va réellement au CEGEP ou à l'université...

 

Exactement.

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Yes! We should also make any form of protestation illegal!

 

It should be allowed. I am for peaceful demonstrations (go ahead yell and scream all you want), but if you break something (you die).

Edited by jesseps
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It should be allowed. I am for peaceful demonstrations (go ahead yell and scream all you want), but if you break something (you die).

 

But people who break stuff, most of the time, aren't even part of the demonstrators.

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Yes! We should also make any form of protestation illegal!

 

One of these fuckers ran into my presentation ranting whatever he was ranting, all I could make out was "Saint Patrick" which made no sense to me or any of my colleagues... anyway everyone in the hall went silent and then resumed after he left...

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:eek: Je vois qu'ils y a des petits dictateurs qui refusent la liberté d'expression, dommage, car c'est la responsabilité du gouvernement d'expliquer clairement les raisons qui justifient les hausses de frais de scolarité. De toute évidence les étudiants ne comprennent pas bien la motivation derrière tout ça et il serait peut-être indiqué d'ouvrir un débat public et vider une fois pour toute la question.

 

Quand on comprend mieux les enjeux on accepte plus facilement les solutions même quand elles sont douloureuses. On ne convaincra pas les extrémistes, mais au moins ils seront les seuls à manifester pendant que les autres retourneront à leurs études, qu'ils auront plus chèrement payées. N'oublions pas que ce sont les gouvernements successifs qui ont gelé opportunément les frais de scolarité en dépit de toute logique. Aujourd'hui le problème les frappe en plein visage parce que le rattrapage est difficile à accepter.

 

Que cela serve de leçon à tout le monde: à moins d'être une société riche et sans dettes, nous avons le devoir de partager les factures et les mettre à jour en rapport avec l'inflation. Rien n'est gratuit dans ce bas-monde et les cadeaux des uns sont nécessairement payés par les autres. Alors par souci de justice sociale, l'utilisateur doit fournir sa juste part dans l'équation.

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:eek: Je vois qu'ils y a des petits dictateurs qui refusent la liberté d'expression, dommage, car c'est la responsabilité du gouvernement d'expliquer clairement les raisons qui justifient les hausses de frais de scolarité. De toute évidence les étudiants ne comprennent pas bien la motivation derrière tout ça et il serait peut-être indiqué d'ouvrir un débat public et vider une fois pour toute la question. .

 

Pourquoi pas un moratoire tant qu'à y être, le temps de faire encore un autre débat? Les positions de chacun sont biens connues et je ne crois pas une minute qu'un "débat" ( oui encore un autre ) videra la question de quoi que ça soit. Je n'aime pas la dictature, mais la fermeté a sa place et il ne faut pas confondre les deux. La mollesse et les débats sans fin ne sont pas beaucoup plus défendables à mes yeux que la dictature. Il est temps d'augmenter les frais de scolarité. Maintenant, passons à autre chose.

Edited by peluche
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