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Nicole Moreau, M.A. in Political Science, Université Laval June 10, 2012
The Minister of Culture, Communications, and the Status of Women, Mrs. Christine St-Pierre responded to Fred Pellerin, the red-square toting storyteller, who turned down the National Order of Québec. According to St-Pierre, the red square symbolizes violence and intimidation.
Yet since the beginning of the strike, the square has been the symbol of resistance on the part of students against the strong-armed hike in tuition fees, imposed by the government of which she is a member. This hike was initially of 1625$ over five years, or a 75% increase over current fees.
St-Pierre’s public affirmation that there is a link between the red square and violence sends the loud and clear message that all those who have spoken out against the tuition hikes are potentially behind the universally condemned actions that have taken place at certain protests. The government is effectively saying that all those who wear the square could even be responsible. It charges anyone who wears the red square of guilt-by-association with the few that have committed some reprehensible acts. It also says that violent incidents are more than just the actions of a fraction of those present.