Canadian police arrest 400 in student protest in Montreal
Canadian police have arrested some 400 people in Montreal in the latest student protest against tuition hikes, police say.
Several thousand demonstrators poured into Montreal’s central square late Wednesday to protest tuition hikes and to denounce a new legislation aimed at ending months of anti-tuition hikes protests.
Police clashed with the demonstrators and arrested nearly 400 protesters.
On Tuesday, tens of thousands of students took to the streets of Montreal to mark the 100th day of protests.
The protesters, carrying red banners and signs, marched through central Montreal to commemorate the day and also voice their opposition to the Quebec provincial government’s new law that would make protests more difficult to organize and impose stiff fines on those who disobey.
Since the law was passed on Friday, daily protests have often turned violent.
Under the new legislation, any individual, who prevents students from entering an educational institution or disrupts classes will be fined between CAD 1,000 and CAD 5,000.
The punishment will rise to between CAD 7,000 and CAD 35,000 for a student leader and to between CAD 25,000 and CAD 125,000 for student federations or unions.
The law also forces regulations to govern student protests, requiring protesters to inform the police of their demonstration plans, including an eight-hour notice for details, such as the itinerary, the duration, and the exact time of the action.
Quebec students have been holding almost daily demonstrations since February in an attempt to show their outrage at the proposed tuition fee rises.
Under the provisional agreement, university fees would increase by CAD 1,780 over seven years or about CAD 254 a year, bringing the total to CAD 4,000 per year. The plan is scheduled to be effective from 2012-13 until 2016-2017 academic years.