Nighttime Protest Ends Violently

Arson and Vandalism Bring March to an Early Close

  • Thousands marched against indexation of tuition by the provincial government the night of March 5. Photo Erin Sparks

  • Thousands marched against indexation of tuition by the provincial government the night of March 5. Photo Erin Sparks

  • Thousands marched against indexation of tuition by the provincial government the night of March 5. Photo Erin Sparks

The second massive protest against the indexation of tuition finished with 10 arrests, another 50 ticketed for unlawful assembly and vandalism by its end the night of March 5.

About 2,000 people paraded through the downtown core and Plateau borough, closely shadowed by Montreal police.

This marked the first large-scale nighttime demonstration since the general student strike last year.

Bike and horse-mounted units from the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal followed the group of demonstrators closely throughout—but at 10:15 p.m., following several smashed windows, vehicles and vandalized buildings—riot police began making arrests.

Organized by Mouvement étudiant, the protest decried the recent handling of new tuition fee increases by the provincial government.

A new increase to tuition was announced on Feb. 25 by the government at the two-day provincial Summit on Higher Education, held at the Arsenal art gallery in Griffintown district of Montreal. Outside the gallery, thousands march in a protest organized by the Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante student federation.

Tuition fees will be indexed to the level of growth in household disposable incomes—equating to roughly $70, or a 3 per cent increase next year.

“Solidarity strengthens despite facing oppression,” stated the organizers in a Facebook post advertising the event. “The indexation increase is greater than the Liberals.’”

Two people were taken to the hospital by emergency services, according to the SPVM.

A police officer was treated for an injury near his eye, while a demonstrator required attention after being hit in the leg with a stun grenade.

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