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Marc Allard and Annie Mathieu July 3, 2012
Caption: Belgian student Thomas Prédour tried to approach Jean Charest to offer him a red square at the reception Monday night. Photo: Le Soleil, Yan Doublet
(Quebec City) Two Belgian participants at the international Forum on French language were pushed by one of Jean Charest’s bodyguards Monday night.
During a reception, around 7 p.m., Mathias Bressan was blocked by a bodyguard when he tried to offer a red square to the Premier. His colleague, Thomas Prédour, told the media yesterday that he then took back the red square and attempted to “discuss” with the Premier.
“He retorted that if I advanced, I would be handcuffed and escorted from the congress and that I would see what Quebec is all about,” recounts Prédour, who feels he was the victim of intimidation.
The Quebec provincial police, responsible for Mr. Charest’s security, has a different view. “No one can approach a premier without authorization, and anyone who tries will definitely be prevented from doing so, but in a professional manner,” explains Richard Gagné, spokesperson for the Sûreté du Québec.
On Monday, Bressan and Prédour began distributing the symbol of the student movement to a large number of Forum participants as a gesture of solidarity with Quebec students.
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.