Students protest calmly in Montreal, Quebec City
'Crisis is not over,' student leaders tell province
Thousands of people rallied for day of protest Friday in Montreal and in Quebec City, as student leaders vowed to continue their demonstrations through the summer.
The large daytime demonstrations, which oppose Quebec tuition hikes and Bill 78, have been taking place on the 22nd day of every month since March.
Friday's protest, organized by the more militant student group, CLASSE, began at 2 p.m. in both cities and ended calmly nearly two hours later.
In Montreal, protesters stretched along several city blocks, waving flags, signs and calling for lower tuition costs for post-secondary education tuition.
The protest ended at Parc Jeanne-Mance, but a group made its way to Carré St-Louis by walking up Mont Royal Avenue. Authorities deemed this protest illegal since no route had been provided.
A spokesperson for the Montreal police confirmed there was one arrest.
Students soldier on
At a press conference, CLASSE interim spokesman, Hugo Bonin, said protesters would continue to send their message to the government.
"We think it's important to remind the Charest government the crisis is not over, and we'll continue to be in the streets, because we are still against the tuition hike and this is still our fight," he said.
In Quebec City, Eliane Laberge, president of the Quebec college federation, FECQ, said the mobilization will not stop and confirmed protests were planned for the summer months.
Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, spokesman for the more militant student organization, CLASSE, said he hopes things will change with the looming provincial elections.
"Negotiation or mediation will not be fruitful without a change of position from the Liberals. Hiking tuition will not lead to any fruitful negotiations, but we are willing to be a bit less rigid than we have been in the past."
"We are tired"
The event comes after nightly protests in the city have turned progressively smaller.
Student leaders say the lower turnout is due to students starting summer jobs and fatigue after months of taking to the streets.
"Everyone is tired, just like Gabriel [Nadeau-Dubois]. We are taking the summer to rest a little. When classes start again in mid August, we'll be ready," said Bonin.
Student action over proposed tuition hikes in Quebec began in November with a massive rally.
Since then, large marches and occasional violent outbursts have resulted in hundreds of arrests and damage to businesses.