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.

source 1

source 2

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source 4

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.
runonmoonlight 7th-May-2012 06:17 am (UTC)
University is free in other countries (Norway, for example). It can be done, it's just that the mindset of the people higher up in the echelon need to be on board.

Good luck, I'm here in Ontario following everything. I'd be out there with you were I in Quebec (but I do work for the school board here which is currently massively fucking us over, both students and employees, it's awesome).

Did you see the private member bill going up that the Tories are supporting in the federal government about being able to arrest masked protesters? I've just seen it on the news so far, I need to find an article about it...
wisdomsawoman 7th-May-2012 09:52 am (UTC)
The Montreal mayor has been trying to do that for quite some time (arrest masked protesters) and so far he's been faced with a lot of opposition... I guess that now it's gonna be a lot easier for him to do that! The thing that people don't understand is that for many people being masked is not a choice anymore, because of political profiling from the police + the risk of being gased. I've heard stories of people being followed home & of random arrests of protesters outside of manifestations (for traffic violation, for example)
uluviel The police want the masks to stay7th-May-2012 06:50 pm (UTC)
A retired policeman interviewed on RDI (or LCN) mentionned that the police use the masks to know which people they should keep an eye on. The masks allow them to do some profiling and ID some potential troublemakers.
wisdomsawoman Re: The police want the masks to stay8th-May-2012 01:40 am (UTC)
In the Victo protests the article was about, the police followed the buses full of students and arrested them on the way. Who was charged? The people who weren't masked, because they had been identified by the police. So I understand what you mean, and I have noooo trouble understanding that the police, in their own fucked up way, want to keep the masks, but sometimes it's pretty useful
bludstone 7th-May-2012 09:36 pm (UTC)
>University is free in other countries (Norway, for example)


Nothing is free, its just paid for a different way.
runonmoonlight 8th-May-2012 02:04 am (UTC)
What I specifically meant (I feel like I am explaining to my father here when he "requires" redundant explanations just to wind me up) was that taxes pay for university so that when you specifically go, you do not have to pay a large lump sum at the time to be able to attend and thus tuition is "free". Just like public education up until high school in Western Society tends to be available at a "free" level for those who either choose it, or have no other option. It is essentially no extra cost to you to attend (not counting school trips, activity fees, books you may have to buy, supplies, etc, that kind of thing. Although I work for a public board, and if a kid can't afford something, we will find a way for them to be able to go).

University being "free" would/does hopefully lead to those who can go because they are eligible going, and not facing as many barriers to accessing it because they cannot afford the tuition, or they cannot afford the debt that their degree would carry in their chosen career path. It would hopefully mean that then the best and the brightest in their fields are actually in their fields, and not just the best and brightest out of those who have found the money to study it.
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