ONTD Political

Quebec Student Protests: Students Injured During the Victoriaville Protests

8:49 pm - 05/06/2012

Over 100 people, including a busload of McGill and Concordia students, were arrested last night in the wake of a protest against the Quebec government's proposed tuition increases.

Around 4,000 protesters travelled to Victoriaville, Quebec yesterday for the start of the Quebec Liberal Party’s general council meeting, while in Quebec City, student leaders negotiated with the government concerning the ongoing unlimited general strike.

The students facing the police on what really looks like a battleground.

The confrontation between police and protestors turned violent, with at least 106 arrests were reported as of Friday night.

The Liberals’ general council was originally to be held in Montreal. However the location was changed to Victoriaville on April 29. Liberal Party communications director Michel Rochette told The Gazette that "Victoriaville is a much more open site. We don't want people impeded at the doors in case there is a demonstration." (you mean you're a bunch of cowards, right?)

Protestors gathered in Victoriaville late Friday afternoon where Quebec Premier Jean Charest was set to address the council at 7:20 p.m. The provincial police force, Sûreté du Québec (SQ), had secured the perimeter of the hotel by the time busloads of protesters started to arrive at around 4 p.m.

By 6:30 p.m. protesters broke through barriers — police secured the area, and the protest was declared illegal. In the coming hours, violence escalated between police and protesters.

Reports from the scene state that protesters pushed through barriers and threw projectiles at police lines. Rubber bullets, CS gas, and smoke grenades were deployed by the SQ. Ambulances were called to the scene, and at least five protesters were admitted to the hospital. Radio-Canada video footage also shows one police officer being hit by protesters. According to The Montreal Gazette, an SQ spokesperson reported earlier this evening that there were 11 injuries; 7 protesters and 4 police officers.(Convenientely they didn't show the protesters being attacked for NO REASON by the police... What a surprise!)

A student being in serious respiratory difficulty is being helped by union medics while the police is trying to prevent the ambulances from getting to him.

Around 9 p.m., Concordia campus television station CUTV ended their live broadcast stating that the protestors were dispersing. Busloads of protesters began leaving the city.

Based on reports from Le Délit’s reporter on the ground, a bus carrying McGill and Concordia students was the last to leave. The bus was escorted back to Victoriaville by police, and passengers were placed under arrest.

The passengers allegedly under arrest were unable to be contacted, but included two journalists from Le Délit and The Link though it has been confirmed that neither journalist will face charges. Students participating in the eleventh nightly demonstration in the streets of Montreal held a solidarity sit-in on Mont Royal and St. Denis for those who were arrested in Victoriaville.

An SQ officer who spoke with The Link confirmed that three buses had been arrested. The passengers were being taken off the buses in pairs, identified and questioned. The officer said that most would be eventually released, but it could be “some hours.” He said that he believed most would be charged, but could not specify what the charges would be. Those charged, he said, would be released and required to appear in court at a later date.

There are unconfirmed reports of at least two buses returning from Victoriaville being stopped and their passengers arrested. A solidarity sit-in for those arrested occurred last night in Montreal.

The strike has lasted for eleven weeks and about 173,508 students, represented by the large temporary coalition of the student association ASSÉ (CLASSE), are currently on strike against tuition hikes set to begin this September.

Meanwhile in Quebec City, representatives from the four major student associations involved in the student strike met with the Minister of Education yesterday at 4 p.m. The student associations present included CLASSE, the Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec (FECQ), the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (FEUQ) and the Table de concertation étudiante du Québec (TaCEQ).

The government presented an offer to student leaders on April 27 which would raised tuition by $254 for seven years as opposed to the government’s planned hike of $325 over the next five years. CLASSE presented its counter-offer on Thursday morning with FEUQ and FECQ presenting a separate proposal. According to Radio-Canada, last night’s negotiations continued until this morning.

The Liberal’s general council meeting in Victoriaville will continue until tomorrow afternoon with both Premier Jean Charest and Minster of Education Line Beauchamp in scheduled to participate. Beauchamp is set to address the council at noon today.

Those fuckers really need to get the HELL OUT of public office.

What the article isn't telling you is that a student LOST AN EYE DURING THE VICTORIAVILLE PROTESTS. Meanwhile the SQ (the Quebec Police) did everything to prevent ambulances from getting to the injured protesters. The gas the police used was also apparently WAY harsher than what they usually use. All in all, we're on the good path to a magnificient police state, awesome right?

The student associations and the government have now reached an "agreement", and the student associations have to present it to the student general assemblies throughout the Quebec for them to approve or reject it. I have read the "agreement" and we (the students) are still getting fucked. I seriously hope it will get rejected. We haven't been on strike for THREE MONTHS for this kind of shit.

For those of you who REALLY want to see what it was like, the CUTV video below really tells it like it is. It's pretty long, but VERY sickening. There are parts in French, but since the CUTV is primarily targeted to the students of the English speaking Concordia University, they translate pretty much everything. CUTV has done an outstanding job at portraying the Quebec student protests with in a clear and truthful way.

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doverz 7th-May-2012 02:07 am (UTC)
Wow, I can't believe someone lost their eye.

lightupmynight 7th-May-2012 02:09 am (UTC)
Unpopular opinion but...
Get over it. Prices go up and it's nowhere near as a bad as it could be.
I am a Quebec student so I'm not speaking as only an observer.
The strikers have just continually pissed me off since day one. If it wasn't blocking doors to not let me into my class/exam it was creating extreme havoc on campus.
Get over it.
wisdomsawoman 7th-May-2012 02:19 am (UTC)
Oh okay. So I'm gonna get over police violence. I'm gonna get over institutional violence. Just like you should get over protesters violence?
A few people pissing you off equates someone getting seriously hurt?
At the end of the day, it comes down to how you see your education and how it should be handled. If you're satisfied with the way it has been done in the last years, then you've got your head in the sand. The people who should be working FOR us (the presidents of the universities especially) are making us believe we are working for them. The universities are not a safe haven for thinkers anymore. It's now a corporate business. If that's how you want your universities to look like, I do think that's pretty sad.

As for the fees... University should be free. The money is there, it could be done, but in our neo-liberal society it's hard for people to see it this way.

Meanwhile, there are students out there who are fighting for what they believe in. And then you have people who are so afraid of change that they prefer to not say a word, even when our basic human rights are being violated.
vexed_artist 7th-May-2012 02:35 am (UTC)
Ahh, "Get over it." The catchphrase of the privileged crowd who never understand the issues they're telling people to "get over..."
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effervescent 7th-May-2012 03:16 am (UTC)
D: This kind of violence is horrible. Seriously awful - I hope there's some sort of investigation into it.

On a side note - I thought that university fees would have to be lowered to offset the tuition? I'm just curious because you're saying that students are still getting screwed over.
wisdomsawoman 7th-May-2012 04:07 am (UTC)
For the first year, yes. What I mean by that is that there will still be a the tuition increase, but it will be compensated by lowered ancillary fees. But it's only for the first year, so the tuition still goes up after that.
To "buy" the student organizations that were in the negotiations, they proposed to put together a temporary committee that will be concentrated on university management that will be formed of
- 4 representatives of student associations (FEUQ, FECQ, CLASSE, TaCEQ),
- 4 union representatives (CSN, CSQ, FQPPU, FTQ),
- 2 representatives of the business world (??? what the hell!) that will be named by the Education Minister,
- 1 representative of the Ministry of Education,
- 1 president (no vote, except in case of egality, NAMED BY THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION)

First off, what the hell are the unions doing there, sorry, I know they supported us but it's not their fight. Second off, business people?? It only reinforces the fact that our universities have become business model, ready to pop out businessmen all ready to go work in their fancy towers after their 3 years of university.
Second off, that ONE PERSON that will tie the vote will be named by the Minister?? What the hell!!
Third off: only four representatives of student associations, but six presidents of universities... something ain't right here!

Now, this committee will be charged to look into university management to find ways to cut unnecessary spendings in the universities. And the money they find will be used to lower the hike. Wow, amazing right? Not really. To find money, they will have to have total cooperation of the universities. This will NOT be easy! Moreover, if they don't find any money, well... It's just too bad for us, right?

Basically this is a big fuck you to the students. I don't plan on settling for that
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wisdomsawoman 7th-May-2012 04:13 am (UTC)
Aaaaahh okay then. I'd like to live in your world!
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lickbrains 7th-May-2012 07:54 am (UTC)
This is absolutely horrifying and disgusting. I can't with the world.
pluckedflowers 7th-May-2012 08:11 am (UTC)
Gosh, these upstarts really should just move on with their lives. Can't they see serious people are trying to shop at the edu-porium? Besides, what have protest and struggle ever done for us?
wisdomsawoman 7th-May-2012 09:55 am (UTC)
Right? Everything was always solved by staying in doors and doing everything the government says ;)
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chaya 7th-May-2012 06:38 pm (UTC)
Do we have to keep feeding the troll, guys?
bludstone 7th-May-2012 09:37 pm (UTC)
Why is it that every single protest video now looks like a clip from a movie about a dystopian future. :(

Oh.... wait.
wisdomsawoman 8th-May-2012 01:26 am (UTC)
Hahaha, right? I'm laughing but it's really disheartening when you realize this is really going on and right next to your home, you know what I mean?
kira_snugz 8th-May-2012 02:34 am (UTC)
holy shit thats horrible.

its really scary that this stuff is happening in canada.

whats scarier is the huge amount of people who think the protestors should just shut up and pay up.not cool
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