14 June 2012

Quebec students and the law

Arrests of student and other demonstrators in Quebec this spring have been been about 4000, mostly for minor offences against municipal by-laws or highway regulations. These have incurred fines for the most part, typically about $600 or $700, and do not leave a criminal record.

Pending are a number of criminal charges that are more serious, under many headings: mischief over $5000, inciting fear of a terrorist attack, possession of a prohibited weapon, obstruction of justice, assault of a police officer, conspiracy to commit a criminal act, participation in a riot, and participation in an unlawful assembly, to name most.

Four students, currently on bail, face charges relating to the smoke bombing of the Montreal subway system.

Student organizations have raised thousands of dollars to pay for legal costs and to reimburse fines.

In the residence of Amir Khadar, member of the legislature (Québec Solidaire), himself arrested and fined, is an allegorical black flag poster showing himself triumphant with rifle over the dead or dying body of the Premier of the province! The poster originated with anarchist performing group Mise en demeure who, to the tune of Ah! vous-dirais-je maman, sing about clubbing the Minister of Education on the head. It is actually the cover of their 2010 album, based on the iconic Eugène Delacroix painting of Liberty in the 1830 rebellion in France. Many, if not most of their songs involve some violence.
14 June 2012

Eugène Lacroix, La liberté guidant le peuple (1830)

This week:
About 100 demonstrators delayed their evening march to get a $10 red patch tattoo on their bodies.
Pauline Marois, leader of Parti Québécois, has been wearing the red patch.
Montreal is asking the province for $10 m to cover municipal costs related to nightly demonstrations.
An assembly of assorted pots, pans, and casseroles makes a tempting battery for a percussionist. La Presse published video of an enthusiast at work.
16 June 2012

Citizen resentment of entitled students will help the government if an election is called soon.
20 June 2012

Although Pauline Maurois was incongruously beating a casserole at Argenteuil recently, she no longer sports the red square. The PQ in power would reduce the increase in students fees, she said, but not abolish them. Opportunist that she is, she is aware of the unpopularity of the students' fizzled spring.
30 June 2012

A web site is now calling on students to prevent resumption of the interrupted semester at the 14 CEGEP's and 11 universities designated by the exceptional law. Meanwhile CLASSE has called for a return to the streets on 22 July.
[Montreal Gazette, 12 July 2012]

As delayed term resumed numerous student protesters and hangers-on, many of them masked, disrupted classes at the Université de Montréal and UQAM. Police intervened at UQAM, and 20 were arrested, all but one charged under Law 12 of 18 May 2012. Most students have voted for an end of the six-month strike. [28 August 2012]