Striking Quebec students tattooed with movement's red symbol
Dozens of people lined up in Montreal's Place Émilie-Gamelin Thursday night for a permanent reminder of their convictions in the ongoing student strike.
About 100 people had the movement's iconic red square tattooed on their body in an open-air tattoo parlor set up for the event, dubbed the"tattoo-a-thon."
The event was organized on Facebook by blogger Gabriel Roy, who said he did it to give a "monumental" single-digit salute to the Quebec government, which has been locked in a dispute over tuition fee increases with students since February.
Roy, who wears a red square tattoo over his heart, explained the event was meant to send "a clear message about the permanence of resistance."
About 200 people showed up to get their $10 tattoo, but only half that number made it into the chair before the event wrapped up.
Organizers rejected any minors who showed up looking to get inked, even those with parental permission.
Maude, a student who was about to get a tattoo on her left shoulder blade, didn't seem concerned about its permanence.
"I think that if one day I'm OK with the idea of raising tuition, I'll look at my tattoo and it will remind me," she said.
52nd nightly march
The tattoo-a-thon preceded the 52nd consecutive nightly march in the city's core.
As they have for most of the evening protests, police declared the demonstration illegal as soon as it started because organizers didn't advise them of the route.
That's a requirement of Bill 78, the controversial legislation introduced by the Quebec government to try and dampen some of the at times volatile demonstrations.
However, Montreal police have been using a municipal bylaw and not the provisions of the provincial bill to declare the marches illegal.
Police have generally allowed the marches to continue as long as no criminal acts were committed.
The march wrapped up shortly before midnight.
With files from Canadian Press