85 arrested in Montreal

Tuition protest leads to violence, vandalism

Banks, shops, cars and a police station had their windows shattered in Montreal Wednesday night following a protest against university tuition hikes in Quebec. Police say that 85 people were arrested and that three police officers suffered injuries.

The scene was chaotic. Students lobbed paint balls. Police used pepper-spray.

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, head of the militant Quebec student group C.L.A.S.S.E., had warned earlier in the day that Quebec Education Minister Line Beauchamp’s refusal to meet with him was equivalent to “pouring oil on the fire,” reports Le Soleil.

Beauchamp had been willing to meet two other student groups, but refuses to speak with C.L.A.S.S.E. because they continue to advertise violent demonstrations online. C.L.A.S.S.E. responded by saying that their website is not centrally controlled.

Many student associations in Quebec have opted to boycott classes at various points over the past 73 days to protest the government’s planned tuition fee increase of $1,625 over five years.