They gathered in front of the Quebec National Assembly and other locations to protest Liberal premier Philippe Couillard’s biting austerity policies. A majority of the activists were students protesting sweeping cuts to education, healthcare on campus and library hours. Police details, some in full body armor, unleashed tear gas, pepper spray, sound bombs and rubber bullets, hitting some of the protesters in the face.
The result of the senseless police violence:
According to the Montreal Gazette, Naomi Tremblay-Trudeau, one of the students injured during the protests, “intends to sue the police officer who shot her.” This webpage has been set up as a platform for activists to upload photos of their injuries and share their experiences. This Facebook page has more photos speaking to police brutality.
Seriously, what’s going on in Quebec? In 2012, the SPVM (Montreal Police) responded to Quebec student protests against the tuition hikes with dictatorship-style suppressive and brutal tactics.
A report subsequently released by ASSÉ, Quebec’s largest student federation, in association with the Quebec Human Rights League and the Association of Progressive Jurists, declared that the police had violated the proteters’ rights. The 47-page report (PDF), titled “Testimonies of the Student Strike: Repression And Discrimination,” was based on 384 witness accounts.
According to ASSÉ, the study sought to “provide a more complete picture of the extent of police, judicial and political repression, to document and analyze events in terms of rights and freedoms.” The authors collected and analyzed cases of “intimidation, police brutality, arrest, detention, allegations of retaliation and denial of access to places”.
And now the law enforcement authorities in the province seem determined to make the province a fully-fledged police state.
Ricochet reports, “Police in Montreal and Quebec City are declaring protests illegal before they begin, and proceeding to surround, arrest and ticket participants. They derive the power to do this from controversial bylaws that require protesters to provide a route to police.”
This isn’t supposed to be happening in Canada. Or anywhere for that matter.
Around the Web:
- Woman shot with tear gas canister at anti-austerity demonstration plans to sue – Montreal Gazette
- Everything you need to know about Quebec’s latest student strike – Ricochet