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July 6 2012
Original French text: http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/education/353985/une-coalition-s-active-a-recenser-les-victimes-du-conflit-etudiant
A coalition has started compiling a list of victims of acts of political repression since the start of the student strike in mid-February.
The Ligue des droits et libertés (League of Rights and Freedoms), the legal committee of CLASSE (Coalition large de l’Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante / Broad Coalition of the Association for Student Union Solidarity), as well as the Association des juristes progressistes (Association of progressive lawyers) will collect testimony from persons who suffered police intimidation or brutality, or reprisals because they wore a red square.
Launched yesterday, the gathering of testimony will continue until August 13, even though CLASSE “foresees that the student conflict will last beyond this date set by the special law for the resumption of classes”.
The coalition is calling for all those who were “victims” or “witnesses” of “any police action, violent speech or physical act of violence, arrest, ‘kettling’, body search, search of personal effects, handcuffing, being photographed, questioning about your status or political opinions, detention […], being given a ticket for an infraction, enforcement of article 31 of the criminal code, a criminal charge or other [incident]” to provide their testimony on the web site of the Ligue des droits et libertés.
Those who received “directives” or who “were subject to reprisals or received disciplinary warnings in their workplace” because of their wearing the red square, as well as those who were restricted from access to public or private property, or who were denied service for that reason are also invited to share their stories.
CLASSE has collected “over a hundred” statements of this kind during the ‘québécois spring’. “The three organizations were receiving many stories separately and we were wondering what to do with the information. We are making this effort specifically to give a voice to those who were victims of repression”, explains Émilie Joly, member of the CLASSE legal committee.
The report will be completely anonymized, emphasized the Ligue des droits et libertés, the CLASSE legal committee and the Association des juristes progressistes, though they caution that those who are considering disclosing a situation of concern must “be aware of the risks of self incrimination when writing their testimony”.
The document will “very likely” include some recommendations, for example on the application of the Code of ethics of Québec police officers. “This certainly is not a report that is meant to sit on a shelf”, adds Mrs. Joly, determined that the document will serve as a “political tool”.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please read and distribute these texts in the spirit in which they were intended; that of solidarity and the sharing of information.