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

source 3

source 4

redstar826 7th-May-2012 02:34 pm (UTC)
What is the overall support for these protests from the students?

If the protests are pissing off a number of the people that they are supposed to be helping, I would think that would be worthy of discussion. I know personally, balancing school with work and other responsibilities, having classes disrupted by protests would be a huge inconvenience. Now, that doesn't excuse the police brutality and it doesn't mean that I would automatically be against all protests of that nature, but I could see where there could be a wide range of opinions regarding the use of certain tactics (like preventing other people from getting to their classes)
wisdomsawoman 7th-May-2012 03:17 pm (UTC)
I do believe that it's more a question of rights as a society vs rights of individuals. The protesters, me included (well not me cause my school voted against the strike, but still I would have), are willing to sacrifice our individual rights to our session for this year, to get our rights, as a group, to an accessible education. If your school isn't on strike, then by all means go to your school, I did. And no one should prevent you from doing so. HOWEVER, if your school of your department is on strike, strike that was voted democratically by your assembly, then you shouldn't even attempt to go to class and you shouldn't feel oppressed if people are preventing your from doing so.
redstar826 7th-May-2012 04:53 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure how it works in Canada because I am in the US. If classes were not officially cancelled by my university and I stopped going to classes for too long I would run the risk of losing my financial aid and my ability to attend school at all.
wisdomsawoman 7th-May-2012 07:29 pm (UTC)
No because in Quebec the financial aid is given at the end of each year. I have financial aid and I wouldn't have lost it if I had been on strike. The "problem" is when you lose your session entirely. If has never happened, but if the offer of the govt doesn't pass, it probably will, though I don't know how they'll do it, the govt, corporations, etc. would lose a lot of money and it would be a puzzle next year. The other tricky thing are internships. On this strike, the assemblies were encouraged to allow their students to keep their internship if they were on strike.
mirhanda 7th-May-2012 06:11 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure I agree with that. Some people really need those classes and it's not right for other students to interfere with that. By all means, protest, but don't interfere with your fellow students, they are not the enemy.
wisdomsawoman 7th-May-2012 07:25 pm (UTC)
I think there's no point in doing a strike when you allow people to still go to class. If the strike was voted in an assembly, and the majority voted yes, then you don't go to class. The contrary stands: if the strike was voted down in your assembly, don't think I'll push you to strike, you don't have the mandate. When the strike vote didn't pass in my university, I went to class even if it went against what I believe in. Because the democracy had spoken. I understand your point, but again it's a case of the individual right versus the rights of a society. If you think your rights, as an individual, outrank the rights of the society as a whole... Damn I don't want to live in your world! I have lots of friend who are still on strike after three months. Do they like being on strike? Hell no! They would prefer to attend their classes. But they believe in what they're doing and for that they are prepared to lose a semester.
mirhanda 7th-May-2012 07:29 pm (UTC)
Good for them! I sincerely hope they are successful, but I just think they need to open their own minds to the needs of their fellow student. I'm almost 50 years old, I have a limited time to go back to school (if I were to go for another degree, but let's just say I want or need to.) I don't have the time in my life to wait! I'm sure Quebec has students in such situations and their needs are important too. It's one thing to blow off a year of your education when you're 18 but not every student is 18 and not every student has the time.
wisdomsawoman 8th-May-2012 01:20 am (UTC)
At the end of the day, I think you have to know what legacy you want to leave for your country/province. But of course, I'm 23 years-old, so I understand your point. :)
soleiltropiques 8th-May-2012 07:29 pm (UTC)
I sympathize with this, I really do. I had family in this situation (heck, I'm not so young myself).

This is a very good point.
soleiltropiques 7th-May-2012 06:20 pm (UTC)
I have difficulty understanding *why* this is such a sticking point, tbh. People accept strike votes from labor unions, but refuse to accept them in the case of a student strike on the grounds that, "Well, you aren't a union".

Um, there is the spirit of the 'law' and the letter of the 'law', you know? The principle is the same.

If my labor union votes to strike and I need the money I make at my job to feed my family, I still have no choice but to strike if it comes to that. This is not to say that I don't sympathize with the person who would find themselves in this situation, but that is the way it works.

Here's a thought: there have been student trikes throughout the history of this province. Why aren't we contributing to a fund for students to recoup some of the tuition fees paid and lost in this instance (this could be built up during years when there are no strikes)?

[edited for clarity]

Edited at 2012-05-07 06:23 pm (UTC)
one_hoopy_frood 8th-May-2012 01:49 am (UTC)
But in school you are paying to attend. If you stop attending, it's not just that you're not making money, but you are actually losing a LOT of money. Money that you will have to spend to do an additional semester of school if you don't finish one because you are on strike. I don't think it's the same at all.
wisdomsawoman 8th-May-2012 01:53 am (UTC)
It's not the same per se, I understand what you mean. But the definition of a "political strike" has been, in the French language anyway, there for decades, if not centuries. It's a powerful term, that doesn't have the same definition than a labour strike, but still has the same meaning. It's a suspension of activities for a specific meaning/cause.
soleiltropiques 8th-May-2012 07:28 pm (UTC)
Well, we'll probably have to agree to disagree there, because I honestly don't see how the principle is different. *shrug*

If I was a worker supporting a young family, say, I would by your definition perhaps simply 'not be making money', but this would 'cost me' a lot regardless.

There is a rather large similarity in the principle, IMHO. A principle which goes beyond that of the strict definition of a labor union, since we accept other instances where majority vote determines an outcome (e.g. democratic elections).

Which isn't to say that I don't sympathize with students who would be stuck in difficult or untenable situations. I really do. I'm not saying this is a simple situation.
This page was loaded Apr 25th 2018, 2:45 am GMT.