Montreal

UQAM classes interrupted by masked student protesters

Masked student protesters disrupted several UQAM classes on Tuesday by entering classrooms, clapping and making noise and in some cases, erasing course material from the blackboards.

Protesting students obeyed injunction to stop blocking school access by disrupting classes instead

Masked protesters interrupted classes at UQAM this morning. (Thomas Gerbet/Radio-Canada)

Masked student protesters disrupted several UQAM classes on Tuesday by entering classrooms, clapping and making noise and in some cases, erasing course material from the blackboards.

Despite a court injunction preventing students from blocking access to the school, a posting on social media called for a blockade of all entrances to the school Tuesday morning.

Shortly after 9 a.m. a group of students gathered inside the university's Pavillon Judith-Jasmin.

Last week, UQAM cancelled classes after demonstrating students blocked entrances.

The university did not ask police to intervene at the time, but has since gone to court to obtain a temporary injunction barring students from blocking access inside the university buildings. That injunction was issued last week. 

A student at UQAM sent CBC/Radio-Canada a video of students interrupting her class around 10:45 a.m. Tuesday.

Protesters at UQAM interrupt a class by walking in, flickering the lights, clapping and in some cases, erasing the notes on the board. 0:12

She said the protesters yelled out slogans in support of the student strike, and then erased the notes the teacher had written on the blackboard.

The students are protesting significant scale backs in government spending, particularly in the education and health sectors.

In March, Quebec delivered its first balanced budget in six years, but the cost of balance was tight control on spending increases, in some cases to below the rate of inflation. 

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 increasing the pressure on the Couillard government.

Back to class

Meanwhile,students in the faculty of UQAM's Language and Communications program will be returning to class.

This afternoon they voted to not renew their strike mandate.

The students have been boycotting classes since March 23. Tuesday's vote marks the first time a student association on strike has opted to put an end to the walkout.

Of the 993 students, 703 voted against renewing the strike mandate, while 225 voted in favour. There were 26 abstentions and nine rejected ballots.

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