Record arrests as police use controversial kettling to control Montreal protests
Police made more than 500 arrests Wednesday evening, the largest number of people arrested in a single night so far in the weeks-long Quebec student demonstrations, after using a controversial technique to control protesters.
The evening march that began with people festively banging pots and pans in support of protesting students ended in the early morning hours with police kettling a crowd of demonstrators and arresting 518 people.
The arrests came just hours after the Quebec government signalled it would be getting tougher on the striking students and set strict conditions for any resumption of negotiations with student strike leaders: There will be no talk of a tuition freeze, and no question of scrapping a newly enacted emergency law. (Photos: The Canadian Press; Gazette; AP/Getty Images; Reuters)
Controversial new laws in effect, Montreal police arrest dozens
Montreal police brought the hammer down on student demonstrators Tuesday night, enforcing a controversial law that brought tens of thousands into the streets in a protest earlier in the day that drew international support.
By the end of a cat-and-mouse operation that marked the fourth straight night of clashes, police spokesman Simon Delorme said that at least 100 people had been arrested and two police officers had been injured.
It is believed to be the first time Bill 78 and the city’s new anti-mask bylaw were used by police.
The daytime march was considered to be one of the biggest protests held in the city and related events were held in New York, Paris, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.
Although fewer than one-third of Quebec’s college and university students are boycotting classes, they have galvanized anger against the provincial government to the point that it tried to defend its new law by saying there were other places with tougher legislation.
Full story here. (Photos: The Canadian Press; The Gazette; Reuters; AFP/Getty Images)
Riot police clash with protesters to force open several Quebec schools
Riot police shoved away a crowd of protesters while helping to force open a school in one of several tense scenes in Quebec on Tuesday.
It was a notable development amid three months of social unrest, during which several legal injunctions to reopen schools have been ignored and resisted by picketing protesters while others were respected.
In this case provincial riot squad fired chemical irritants at about 100 protesters who refused to move as they blocked the entrance of a junior college north of Montreal. (Photos: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz)
Nearly nude students take to Montreal’s streets to protest tuition hike
Striking students stripped down to their birthday suits and an astonishing array of red underwear to protest, yet again, against Quebec’s proposed tuition hikes.
The symbolism of the nearly nude event was featured in the chants the students shouted out as they marched through Montreal’s Plateau neighbourhoold: “Tout nu dehors, jusqu’a la victoire,” which translates to naked outside until victory, but doesn’t rhyme in English. (Photos: Vincenzo D’Alto/Postmedia News; Christinne Muschi/Reuters)
Montreal police and protesters rage through the night as tuition march turns violent
Montreal is waking up to a morning of smashed windows, vandalized cars and questions about how a protest degenerated into yet another violent clash between police and demonstrators.
Anger over a short lived effort to put an end to the tuition crisis through negotiations bubbled over Wednesday night when a hastily-organized demonstration turned ugly and police used batons, pepper spray and percussion bombs to disperse the crowd.
After two hours of peaceful protest, police declared the march illegal and the situation unravelled quickly. A car was set on fire at a major downtown intersection and chaos ensued as the police started to push the crowd back using whatever tools they had in their arsenal. (Photos: Dario Ayala, Allen McInnis/Postmedia News)
Graeme Hamilton: Striking Quebec students fail the test of democracy
As the strike by Quebec university students, now into the 10th week of protests against government plans to raise tuition fees drags on, the likelihood that some students will lose their entire semester grows. If they’re going to learn anything from the experience, let’s hope it’s that intimidation tactics and disregard for the rights of others have no place in a true democracy. (Photos: Dave Sidaway, John Kenney/Montreal Gazette; Mathieu Belanger/Reuters)