Tuesday 22 May 2012



$5000 dollar fine for not wanting to inhale the police's Chemical weapons, disgusting! The Protests Are NOT just About Tuition! The fine doubles for each subsequent charge. These are laws that just BEG to be challenged and broken! Wearing a face mask ILLEGAL? Come on now, that is just plain STUPID. Balaclavas are a way of life in PQ during the horrendously cold winters.....

If there is an North American revolution like many predict, Americans might soon be following the example of events in Montreal. Tonight’s protests resulted in 300 arrests, the highest number yet. This is more than the G8 and NATO summit arrests combined. Each night there are around 5000 to 10000 people taking to the street and also during the day but its during the night that things get ugly. Ah yes, and then of course, there are assuredly agent provocateurs blended into the groups.....

My ancestors were among the first settlers in Quebec several hundred years ago, thinking they had found freedom from the oppression they suffered under in France. It seems as if that oppression has arrived now in PQ. I continue to cry for my beloved country. 

The following video comes from CBC, Canada's official news source, from the government's lips to our eyes and ears. So, it is a tad biased but the powerful images get the point across. 

May 21st, 2012

Canada is known to be a peaceful country but Montreal has been the theatre of civil unrest for several months. The announced hike of tuition fees by the government of the province of Quebec lead to a massive student strike punctuated with tons of protests and sometimes violent confrontations with police. While the core of the problem is a $1600 increase of tuition over five years ~ an amount that might seem minimal to University students of other countries that must pay tens of thousands of dollars to attend ~ the financial contention devolved into an all out movement against government oppression.

While the conflict probably could have been peacefully resolved with a bit of compromise from both sides, it was instead dragged out for months, causing the city of Montreal to become the theatre for  numerous acts of violence, vandalism and civil disturbance. In my article entitled The London Riots and How They Will be Used to the Elite’s Advantage, I described how the London riots were purposely dragged out longer than they needed to in order to justify the application of new oppressive laws suspending basic rights for “security”.

The same pattern appears to be happening now in Quebec as a new “special law” restricting many aspects defining a free society has been adopted by the provincial government. The controversial Bill 78 was heavily criticized by the legal community as some observers claim that it turns Quebec into a “Totalitarian State”. 

The law notably prohibits any kind of demonstration that has not previously been approved by the police department, making “spontaneous protests” virtually illegal. It also allows police authorities to consult Twitter accounts and to arrest people organizing protests. 

Also, on a more ridiculous side of things, a new Montreal law now prohibits the wearing of masks while walking in Montreal. Here’s an article describing the many provisions of Bill 78.  

There were warnings Friday from Quebec’s legal community that the government’s strict legislation aimed at ending the student crisis has gone too far.
One law professor even compared the controversial Bill 78 to the now-defunct War Measures Act. Other observers, meanwhile, supported the law as a way to bring calm after months of unrest.

The emergency legislation lays out stern regulations governing demonstrations and contains provisions for heavy fines for students and their federations.

Lucie Lemonde, a law professor at Universite du Quebec a Montreal, said Friday that she was stunned by how far the bill reaches.

“It’s the worst law that I’ve ever seen, except for the War Measures Act,” said Lemonde, referring to the notorious federal law imposed in Quebec during the 1970 FLQ crisis.

“We knew something was coming, but I didn’t think they would use it to change the rules of the game in terms of the rights to demonstrate.”

The legislation, set to expire after a year, is designed to deal with an immediate problem.

Tens of thousands of Quebec students have been on strike for more than three months to oppose the government’s plan to hike tuition fees. Some demonstrations have led to vandalism and violent exchanges with riot police and some students have been blocked while attempting to return to class.

While Lemonde doesn’t support the tuition increases, she has found herself stuck in the middle of the occasionally aggressive dispute.

She was forced to cancel a class Wednesday when dozens of chanting, masked protesters stormed into her UQAM classroom. The school invasion, which made international headlines, left her shaken up.

Still, Lemonde said Bill 78 attacks an individual’s rights to freedom of expression, association and conscience.

Other experts also questioned the bill’s legality Friday.

Louis Masson, head of the provincial bar association, said in a statement that the bill violates constitutional rights. However, there were grumblings from some members of the bar that not all Quebec lawyers are quite that opposed to the law.

One Quebec lawyer said in an email to The Canadian Press that some members of the association were upset that Masson spoke on their behalf.

Also Pierre Marc Johnson, a former Parti Quebecois premier, criticized an earlier statement by the association recommending mediation between the government and students.

In a letter published Friday in Montreal newspaper La Presse, Johnson urged the government to have the courage to take a strong stand to protect the democratic rights of law-abiding citizens. Johnson, a lawyer, warned against “improvised approaches.”

Bill 78 quickly earned praise Friday from some pro-business institutions.

Michel Leblanc, president and chief executive of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, welcomed it as a way to protect downtown businesses. Many have complained that they are suffering because of the frequent demonstrations.

Leblanc noted that fewer people have been heading to stores and restaurants in the business district since the protests started.

“The objective was to pause the troubles,” he said of the bill in an interview.

“It was important to find a way to calm the city.”

Leblanc also hoped the legislation would enable students who want to complete their semester to do so.

The director of an association that represents 8,000 businesses in downtown Montreal was pleased with Bill 78, but wondered what took so long for the Charest government to act.

Andre Poulin of Destination Centre-Ville said business owners have been “taken hostage” by protesters for more than three months.

“It makes no sense to let something go for that long,” said Poulin. “The impact has been enormous.”

But even some people who disagree with the student strike think Bill 78′s measures are too repressive.

Celina Toia, a first-year UQAM law student, was physically shaken up by a protester when they rushed into her school Wednesday to disrupt the classes.

The invaders also hurled insults at her in an incident she described as “completely shocking.”

While Toia believes protesters have no right acting aggressively and blocking others from going to class, she thinks the government has come down too hard on their rights.

“It goes against the principles that I abide by, which is the supremacy of law,” said Toia, who doesn’t support the tuition increases, either.

“Because if I were to accept this piece of legislation, I’m also denying a democratic right to someone else.”

Under the Constitution’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, everyone has the right to free expression and peaceful assembly ~ within reasonable limits prescribed by law.

Some are arguing that Bill 78 doesn’t pass the test.

The law lays out strict regulations governing demonstrations, including having to give eight hours’ notice for details such as the itinerary, the duration and the time at which they are being held.

Simply offering encouragement for someone to protest at a school ~ either tacitly or otherwise ~ is subject to punishment.

Remarks from the education minister fueled some of the confusion about the bill’s potential reach.

Michelle Courchesne, less than a week in her new position, raised more than a few eyebrows by mentioning that tweets from the social network website Twitter could also be considered as encouragement to protest.

When asked to clarify, she said she would leave it up the police’s discretion to deem what was within the limits of the law. It remains unknown whether “re-tweeting” a potentially illegal message could also land others in hot water.

Toia and Lemonde both predicted the law will heighten tensions and confuse people ~ students and teachers.

Lemonde said some faculty members are now wondering whether it’s still safe to wear red squares pinned to their clothes ~ a symbol of support for the anti-tuition-increase movement.

“I think people are scared,” she said.

“They say, ‘Just by wearing the red square, could I be charged?’ ”~ Source: Canadian Press

As expected by many, the adoption of Bill 78 only caused the radicalization of protesters who are now not fighting against the rise of tuition fees but against the oppression of an anti-Democratic government. 

Since the law has been adopted, protests occur every single night in Montreal, each of them resulting into many cases of police brutality and hundreds of arrests.

Polls however show that the “silent majority”, supports the new bill as regular people grew tired of the unrest plaguing the city. Extreme  elements of the movement have committed acts of violence and vandalism, even going as far as throwing smoke bombs in subway stations, causing the total stop of the mass transit system and making thousands of people arrive late to work. This cannot be good for public opinion.

Did the authorities use agents provocateurs (aka government patsies) to commit acts of civil disturbance in order to get public opinion on the side of this oppressive new Bill? 

Well, it has been done before.

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