Student Protests in Montreal Trigger Mass Arrests
Posted on May 24, 2012
More than 500 people were arrested in Montreal on Wednesday night while protesting tuition increases and a controversial new law that severely limits the right to demonstrate.
Demonstrations against rising education costs have rocked Montreal since February. About 100 people were arrested on Tuesday night when a crowd of 150,000 took to the streets. Protesters have vowed to continue the nightly demonstrations despite the new law.
Quebec’s provincial government announced in mid-February that tuition would be increased by $325 per year for five years for a total increase of $1,625. —ARK
But what began as a protest against university fee increases has expanded to a wider movement to oppose Bill 78, which was rushed through by legislators in Quebec in response to the demonstrations. The bill imposes severe restrictions on protests, making it illegal for protesters to gather without having given police eight hours’ notice and securing a permit.
On Wednesday night, police in Montreal used “kettling” techniques – officers surrounding groups of protesters and not allowing them in or out of the resulting circle – before conducting a mass arrest.
Hicham Souilmi (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Mounted police officers monitor protests in Montreal in late April.