Casserole protesters denounce the PQ government
Published Thursday, September 5, 2013 7:47AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 5, 2013 7:52AM EDT
Protesters banging pots and pans took to the streets of Montreal to denounce the one-year anniversary of the Parti Quebecois government.
About 200 people, many wearing red squares on their lapels, said the promises that were made by Premier Pauline Marois and the PQ have been broken.
The two groups snaked their way through residential areas in Villeray and Hochelaga on Wednesday evening before meeting downtown at Emelie Gamelin Park, which was the starting point for many protests during the so-called Maple Spring.
On a day where Marois said she was proud her government had brought "social peace" to Quebec, many protesters said the very notion was ridiculous.
"Everything that this government does, it is social injustice," said one man. "It is the same politics that the Liberals used to do."
Others objected to the PQ's budget cuts for healthcare, daycare, and tuition, and what they call an inability to develop confidence in the provincial economy.
"One year into power and she's done zero for this province except to run us into the ground," said one woman. The protester said said the government has worked hard to divide Quebecers with policies such as "Bill 14, the Charter of Quebec values - or should we say the Charter of Quebec No Values -- the loss of 40,000 jobs in this province."
Quebec Solidaire MNA Amir Khadir was among those protesting. He said last year's student movement was a battle against austerity and income inequality that saw many sitting PQ MNA's wearing red squares themselves.
He said that now, the PQ is imposing much more austerity than the party they replaced.
"Small business and the middle class are just strangled by taxes and the burden of all that and the richest among us continue to benefit from an extremely advantageous situation," said Khadir.
Protesters did not give their route to police and the demonstration was declared illegal soon after it started. However even though it was loud, it was peaceful, and authorities did not intervene.