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Gabrielle Duchaine June 8, 2012
After stirring up public debate by forcing his classmates to return to school with the first injunction of the student conflict, the “green square” Laurent Proulx has finally dropped the course of anthropology at Laval University for which he fought in court.
Ironically, the student in favor of higher tuition pleads lack of money in justify his decision. Student associations he brought to court were stunned. “It is appalling,” said Martin Boneau, the president of the student confederation from Laval University (CADEUL). “It his hard to understand considering all the time and money put into an affair that was apparently urgent.” Jérémie Tremblay, spokesperson for the association of Social Science Student, is dumbfounded: “He created a real commotion. He contributed to the polarization of the debate and the deterioration of the climate in our faculty.”
Laurent Proulx ceased to attend his course because of his role as spokesperson for the Movement of socially responsible students of Quebec (MESRQ), which he joined after obtaining the injunction. Public relations were too time-consuming. The student, who lives in Drummondville, had to travel to Quebec to take his course and his role as spokesperson required him to make many visits to Montreal. In a declaration sent to La Presse, he stated: “I had to make this difficult choice facing the evidence of the lack of time I could devote to the class and lack of academic support in order to succeed.” He did not want to be interviewed in person on the issue and added: “My brief involvement as a spokesperson of the socially responsible students was not remunerated and my telecommunications and travel expenses were not reimbursed. I had to continue working in addition to my studies and this commitment.”
The first injunction
On April 2nd, Laurent Proulx, registered at Laval University, which was then on strike, was the first student to get back to class thanks to a court order. The injunction specifically prohibited CADEUL, the Association of Students in Social Sciences and Anthropology, to block access to the pavilion where the course was held.
Mr. Proulx, who wishes to become a lawyer, returned to class on April 4th filmed by many cameras and under the shouts of a hundred of students on strike. The fifty students who attended the course of Professor Martin Hébert in his company were visibly embarrassed.
In the following weeks, dozens of applications for injunctions were issued to courts in Quebec. In some colleges, including Lionel-Groulx on the north-shore of Montreal, scenes of great violence broke out between students holders of injunctions and the “red squares” who manned the picket lines.
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.