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Vincent Larouche June 11, 2012
Taking advantage of the fact that his sister had passed away and that he had to go to her funeral in Chicoutimi, the police have just stopped a student protester that they have had their sights on for quite some time.
Mathieu B. Girard, age 19, an activist from the student union of Maisonneuve College, was driving with his mother and his brother on Highway 20, earlier today, when a Sûreté du Québec patrol car intercepted them near Saint-Hyacinthe.
The policemen had arrested the young activist for mischief, at the request of the Montreal police. The rest of the family had continued on to Chicoutimi for the funeral, but not him. He should appear in court, tomorrow, at the Montreal courthouse.
“We can confirm that a person was stopped in link with the student movement. The person was wanted and will be transferred to the operational centre concerned with mischief committed in the public transport network”, explained Sergeant Laurent Gingras, spokesperson for the SPVM, who refuses to share any personal information about the young man’s situation.
Mathieu B. Girard’s sister had killed herself last Saturday. It was he who had discovered the body, and he had had to meet with the police concerning this case.
According to our sources, other investigators have had him under surveillance for some time now for problems linked with the student protests. They had problems trying to meet the student, to the point that they believed he was in fact trying to avoid them.
With the death of his sister and her funeral, the investigators saw a chance to finally apprehend this student, preferably after he had left town.
According to his lawyer, Mrs. Véronique Robert, the young man was devastated that the police had stopped him from going to the funeral and had begged to see his sister one last time.
“They show a lack of human compassion, they should have acted differently! I honestly suspect that they wish to take advantage of his emotional state to interrogate him in the hope that he will name people!” she adds strongly.
According to her, nothing justifies their course of action. She denies that her client had tried to avoid the police. “He has an address, a phone number, I contact him whenever I want. He had heard rumours that he was wanted and I myself had asked the SPVM if they had a warrant against him very recently, nothing came of it” she says.
Mrs. Robert believes that the police want to impress activists with spectacular arrests: “Acts of mischief, like these, are cases where they can make the suspects sign promises to show, or send them a summons through the mail, or simply call their lawyer. Here, they’re making a spectacle, just like when they arrested Andréa Pilote on the bridge with four police cars”, she accuses, in reference to another activist arrested last week.
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.