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Saturday, 24 March 2012

Montreal Student Protest: A Review PART 2

This is my review of the March 22, 2012 protest in Montreal against the Charest government's tuition hike of 1625$. The protest drew students from across the province who arrived by bus to demonstrate. The McGill contingent, of which I was part, marched from McGill to the general meeting place at Place du Canada. The protest, which at its highest estimate contained about 200 000 students, wound its way through downtown mostly on Sherbrooke street, then turning south on Berri and ending in the Old Port. The protest completely shut down traffic in much of the downtown core, which pleased us very much, but it must be said that when hearing a fire truck, the                     students diligently moved out of the road to let it pass. On a side note, the firefighters waved at us in support. 

Tuition hikes make this student sad
The protest itself was absolutely amazing, it was by far one of the best and most rewarding days of my life so far. There was so much solidarity among the students who all came from different schools in different regions. It was nice to be part of something in Quebec where everyone felt a strong connection to each other and there was no feelings of divisiveness along linguistics lines at all, with some French students chanting in English as well. Such a strong show of force by the students shows that the movement is not over, it is only beginning and with over 300 000 students on strike, it becomes stronger every day. You can't see this in the photo but the student's sign says "Nous ne reculerons pas" (We won't back down). This is the strong message that we are sending to the government and I hope that they will see that it is time to negotiate with us for accessible education for everyone. 

It is also very important to note that this was an entirely PEACEFUL protest! No looting or smashing windows (or police brutality for that matter) was involved, so those who wish to paint students as good-for-nothing street hooligans will have to look elsewhere than the largest student protest of the year. 

In short the March 22, 2012 protest was an overwhelming success in my eyes that demonstrated our determination to support this cause to the end and the fraternity and solidarity that exists within the Quebec student community. I am extremely proud to have been a part of this and I firmly believe that the protests will and should continue until accessible education is guaranteed and tuition is frozen. 


  1. Thank you for writing about this, Ruby. It's important to eliminate the misinformation out there, and I think your post does that.

  2. Right behind you honey!

  3. Oh my goodness. The wiki picture of Jean Charest is hilarious. A cowboy hat? Really?