Students And Riot Police Clash In Montreal After Tuition Hike Is Announced
Hours after Quebec Premier Pauline Marois declared that student unrest is “behind us,” tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Montreal to denounce a planned three-per-cent tuition fee hike.
At least 13 arrests were made according to media sources.
The protest, organized by radical student union ASSE, was immediately declared illegal by police as they blocked off roads and public transporation was re-routed.
Student leaders said they felt betrayed by Marois, who wrapped up a two-day summit on higher education by announcing a plan to increase tuition by $70 per year, or roughly $350 over the first five years.
Marois’s Parti Quebecois government had nixed the previous Liberal government’s efforts to raise the tuition fee by $1,625 over five years – a plan that sparked sometimes violent protests in Montreal, Quebec City and other parts of Quebec last year.
ASSE, which boycotted the education summit, demanded free tuition across the province during Tuesday’s protest.
Regular nightly demonstrations are also being planned for next week.