News | CLASSE action

Week of economic disruptions blog

This week students across Montreal will be engaging in daily actions targeting Quebec’s economic sector, the details of which are being kept confidential. Not all actions have been organized by CLASSE, most are organized by autonomous organizations which CLASSE has invited its members to attend. Check back regularly for updates.

 

Friday 2 p.m.| 300 protesters march on Westmount

Count: +/- 300 students

McGill presence: Unknown

Risk level: Not rated

Time: 2 p.m.

A crowd of roughly 300 protesters marched in Westmount today as part of the week of economic disruption. The demonstration began at Cabot Square near the Atwater metro station and ended two hours later outside of Quebec Premier Jean Charest’s home. While police initially blocked protesters from physically delivering a letter to the Premier’s mailbox, they allowed it to be delivered to his bodyguards.

Laurent Bastien Corbeil

Thursday, 12 p.m. | Four simultaneous student marches downtown

Count: +/- 1,500 students

McGill presence: Unknown, due to masks and costumes

Risk level: Not rated

When: 12 p.m.

This afternoon an autonomously organized student demonstration in Phillips Square splintered into four separate marches through downtown Montreal. The police had been notified of the marches and their routes in advance, and the marches continued peacefully for several hours before reuniting in Place des Arts. The demonstration in Place des Arts had broken up by 3 p.m.

The marches were colour-coded green, blue, yellow, and orange, each with their own stated cause. The green march called for free education, the blue march prosted student federations, the yellow march protested strikebreaking student unions, and the orange march protested the “ultraviolence” of the provincial government.

Click here to read the full story.

 

Wednesday, March 28 | Students blockade Port, driven away by police

Count: +/- 750 students

McGill presence: 25 students

Risk level: Yellow

When: 9:40 a.m.

After almost two hours, a student blockade of the Port of Montreal was broken up by the Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM). According to the CBC, the police used pepper spray and sound grenades to disperse the students.

The protest began with almost 600 students gathering in front of the Cégep de Maisonneuve. The action was organized by the Société générale des étudiantes et étudiants du Collège de Maisonneuve.

Two delivery trucks were unable to exit Lantic’s driveway due to the student blockage. Richard Choquette, driving a Lantic Sugar tanker, was one. He said the blockade was “not a problem.”

“It’s true that in those times we had less money when we were student,” he said. “Today’s students are going to become the taxpayers of tomorrow.”

 Read the full story here.

Wednesday, March 28 The day begins with brief blockage near Concordia

Count: 50 students

McGill presence: 10 students

Risk level: Green/Orange

When: 7:30 a.m.

The group of students started the action at 7: 55 a.m. by breaking up into groups of two, one march south, one west from the initial meeting spot in Bethune Square. Both groups reconvened at the intersection of St. Mathieu and René-Lévesque.

At 8:06 a.m., the group of 50 blocked the entrance from St-Marc street onto René-Lévesque for about five minutes with banners and a line in front of the traffic.

At least ten police vehicles were positioned around the area, four vehicles had been following the march since the square.  Police announced over an amplified device that said if students did not move they would be arrested was just sent to us.

Ten foot-police approached the demonstration to disperse the crowd. Students left the bridge entrance collectively and marched back to Guy metro station, where students dispersed into the metro. Some students hopped the metro turnstiles.

Two police officers investigated on the platform of the station, however  students previously demonstrating boarded the next subway car to travel eastbound to the morning’s next demonstration.

 

Tuesday, March 27 | Students block the office of the SAQ

Count: 200 students

McGill presence: unknown

Risk level: Yellow

When: 7:30 a.m.

Students blocked the entrances to the office of the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ), located near the intersection Avenue de Lorimier and René-Levesque Est.

The four entrances to the building are blocked, and picnic tables were placed at entrances to the parking lot to block vehicles from entering. As of 9:10 a.m. La Cyberpresse reported there had been no police intervention.

The initial meeting spot for the action was Papineau metro station several blocks away. Students were told the action was coded yellow, indicating medium risk, and that the action was “autonomously organized.”

Around 11 a.m. the Montreal Gazette reported riot police had dispersed students blocking the building’s entrances using a “chemical dispersant.” The police also made arrests, according to the Gazette.

 

Monday, March 26 | Students occupy Fédération des cégeps building

Count: 300 students

McGill presence: 3 students

Risk level: Green

When: 11 a.m.

 

The first action of the week was organized by the Société générale des étudiantes et étudiants du Collège de Maisonneuve, and most students arrived at the designated place and time without knowing what the action would be.

“To make sure that these demonstrations aren’t broken up before they occur, for example, it’s important to have some level of secrecy about what they are so that they can actually take place,” said Karel, a McGill student who wished to be identified by her first name.

The students began marching through surrounding streets with one police car in front, one following. When the march reached the intersection of Crémazie and St. Denis, students began running.

They ran towards the Fédération des cégeps building located at the corner of Crémazie and Berri. Students blocked the four entrances to the building, and initially a reported dozen students occupied the building.

Click here to read the full story.


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