Students saying 'enough is enough' take to the streets
Published Tuesday, May 8, 2012 9:18AM EDT
MONTREAL - For the past three months tens of thousands of students in Quebec have not been in class and frequently been marching in noisy protest.
But even though the streets have been filled with protesters opposing tuition hikes, those who feel the hikes are reasonable and would rather stay in school, chose not to demonstrate.
That changed Monday night as some of those students attached green squares to their lapels and marched through Montreal.
"We're here to show the population there are some kids who want to go back to school," said Merick Seguin.
Many of the anti-boycott protesters say they have had enough, and are now seeing their plans for the future ripped out of reach.
Many CEGEPs, rather than face constant protest, decided to cancel classes this spring, even if there were sizable numbers of students who wanted to attend school.
"I was supposed to go to university in one year. I'll have to wait one more year," said Seguin.
Other students are upset because even though their schooling will continue, their chances to find summer jobs have evaporated.
One protester, who went by the name of Etienne, said employers he has approached feel students are unreliable.
"They don't want someone on strike because I can't even tell them when I can come to work," he told CTV Montreal reporter Cindy Sherwin. "Our situation can change from a day to another."
Some are unaffected personally but believe tuition hikes are necessary, and think the plan to raise tuition is reasonable.
"The people that got a technical [degree]... they don't go to university but they have to pay because they pay taxes on this, so it's not fair for them if we don't pay enough," said one protester.
They chanted "Save, save save the semester," "Down with student dictators," and "Don't listen to CLASSE--go back to class."
The green squares also booed as they marched past the headquarters for the CSN, saying unions and teachers should not be backing the boycotters.
A quick march through the city, followed by a much larger number of red-square wearing former classmates.