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Simon Boivin May 29, 2012 Le Soleil
(Québec) The student leaders unanimously denounce the massive arrests made Monday by the Québec police opposite the very building where negotiations are taking place.
“These arrests are arbitrary, almost random,” objected Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois of CLASSE. “The Québec police are starting to develop the very bad habit of carrying out mass arrests during peaceful protests.”
The president of FEUQ, Martine Desjardins, who wondered Monday on her twitter feed whether it was a question of “political arrests”, finds it strange that they took place so close to the building where talks are taking place.
“You have to wonder why they waited here when the protest had been declared illegal since the beginning,” remarked Mme Desjardin, “Was it planned? Was it a gesture to put pressure on negotiations? It’s appalling.”
Monday, the president of FECQ, Léo Bureau-Blouin, attempted to secure a promise from the forces of order to let the protesters go. Eighty-four found themselves under lock and key.
“We wanted to avoid mass arrests and the youth receiving tickets for $600,” he commented. “The way in which the police department acted, I think it was excessive. The people could’ve dispersed. There were a lot of people who wanted to walk away peacefully. Why use repression rather than discussion to settle the crisis?”
He means to tackle the question today with the minister of education, Michelle Courchesne. “We will say to the minister that there are youth all over Québec who believe in what they do. They are worried for the future of their democracy, they want to get involved and they ask to be heard. We had proof yesterday [Monday] that this isn’t just a few hot-heads who are mobilizing. It’s thousands of students who fight because they want a Québec that reflects them.”
If all hoped to continue negotiations, M. Nadeau-Dubois judges that the arrests have a bad impact on the climate around the table.
“It’s not the kind of event that reinforces a relationship of trust and establishes a favorable climate for discussion. But to proceed with a mass arrest at the foot of the building in which the negotiations take place, that’s not a noble gesture.”
Translated from the original French by Translating the printemps érable.
*Translating the printemps érable is a volunteer collective attempting to balance the English media’s extremely poor coverage of the student conflict in Québec by translating media that has been published in French into English. These are amateur translations; we have done our best to translate these pieces fairly and coherently, but the final texts may still leave something to be desired. If you find any important errors in any of these texts, we would be very grateful if you would share them with us at email@example.com. Please read and distribute these texts in the spirit in which they were intended; that of solidarity and the sharing of information.