Students protest against PQ budget
ASSÉ says tuition freeze isn't enough
Thousands of students in Montreal are back on strike to protest against the commercialization of post-secondary education.
Jérémie Bédard-Wien, spokesman for the ASSÉ, the umbrella group representing student associations, told reporters on Thursday afternoon that students are ready to keep fighting for free tuition.
"We are worried about the provincial budget, a budget that continues in the Liberal government's footsteps that precede it," he said.
About 56,000 students from associations represented by the umbrella group, voted in favour of Thursday's strike.
Bédard-Wien said the ASSÉ is opposing the Parti Québécois' proposal to index tuition fees to the price of living in Quebec — the group has been calling for free tuition since the beginning of the Quebec student crisis last spring.
Students are also protesting against the PQ's decision to maintain the health tax. Bédard-Wien also said the protest was in support of Palestine in its ongoing conflict with Israel.
The ASSÉ is also demanding that the province launch a public inquiry into police operations during the student crisis. The student group wants authorities to lift all criminal charges linked to last spring's events.
The Quebec University Student Federation (FEUQ) and the College Student Federation (FECQ) did not take part in Thursday's protest.
Both organizations said the PQ's decision to abolish Law 12 was a victory for the student movement.
The itinerary for Thursday's protest was not given to Montreal police, but students rallied at Square Victoria in downtown Montreal and made their way to Place Émilie-Gamelin, by the Berri-UQAM metro station.
Montreal police deemed the protest illegal but said it would be tolerated if no criminal acts took place.