The man who for many personifies the student protest movement is stepping down.

In a letter published Thursday Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois announced that he is resigning from his role as co-spokesperson for CLASSE.

However Nadeau-Dubois wrote that he will continue to fight against tuition hikes, continue to march in the streets, and continue to fight for the rights of young Quebecers.

In his resignation letter printed in Le Devoir, Nadeau-Dubois wrote that after six months of being the public face of the protest he feels that it is time for "new blood."

"I leave with my head held high, with the conviction that I have done my duty and participated in a historic, public movement," wrote Nadeau-Dubois.

In an interview that also appeared in the newspaper, Nadeau-Dubois said that he had grown tired of being the subject of so many personal attacks.

Elsewhere he wrote "The turbulent political and social climate that we helped create in Quebec absolutely must continue in the months and years to come.

"The criticisms levelled by Quebec youth this spring are much too profound to be dealth with in a 35-day electoral campaign."


Regrets that Charest is still premier

In the letter Nadeau-Dubois wrote that his only regret is that Jean Charest is still premier, accusing Charest of continually mocking the movement with personal ad-hominem attacks.

"Shale gas, corruption, Anticosti, Mount Orford, tuition hikes, health tax: the list of lies, scandals and attacks against the population by this government is too long.

"And when youth rose up against these absurdities, Charest found his only response in billy clubs and tear gas," wrote Nadeau-Dubois.


Political reaction

For his part, Charest said that he would not comment on the resignation aside from saying that he wished Nadeau-Dubois no ill-will.

Speaking from the campaign trail, PQ leader Pauline Marois said that Nadeau-Dubois was always intelligent and well-spoken, and she expects he will have a bright future.

"I think we have to have respect for Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois. We cannot always be in agreement with his viewpoint, but he defended his viewpoint with intelligence and audacity," said Marois.
"He denounced violence, and he denounced abuse. He could not always control [the actions of protesters] however."

CLASSE has two other spokespeople, Jeanne Reynolds and Camille Robert.