ASSÉ student group plans to ramp up spring protests

One of Quebec's largest student groups says it will put increased pressure on the Couillard government this spring, despite a recommendation from outgoing members of its executive committee to scale back demonstrations until the fall.

Executives tossed out after disagreement over whether to postpone student strike until fall

Students carry a mock head of Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard as they demonstrate against austerity measures and government cuts at a protest Thursday, April 2 in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

One of Quebec's largest student groups says it will continue to protest through the spring season, despite a recommendation from outgoing members of its executive committee to scale back strike actions until the fall. 

ASSÉ, which represents 82,000 post-secondary students in Quebec and has been the main catalyst driving this year's student-strike movement, adopted a motion during its weekend general assembly committing to putting increased pressure on the Couillard government.

"We must stop the repeated attacks made against the environment and public services," the student group's new spokesperson, Hind Fazazi, said in a statement.

"We invite all those who are affected by these measures to join our collective fight!"

​The statement comes after executive committee members were relieved of their duties during a closed-door weekend meeting.

According to Radio-Canada, at least some executive members were removed after a motion was adopted to dissolve the executive committee.

Earlier this week, executive committee members had suggested putting off protests until the fall, when the strike would have more union support.

Fazazi told a news conference on Monday the outcome of the weekend meeting sends "a clear message that the local associations still have the power to do what they want to do, and that our movement is diverse."

The motion adopted over the weekend, and obtained by Radio-Canada, lays out plans for a series of major demonstrations over the next few months, including:

  • a protest on April 11 to call for action against climate change
  • a May 1 general strike
  • the disruption of the Quebec Liberal party meeting in mid-June


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