LAVAL - CEGEP student leaders from across Quebec camped out at College Montmorency in Laval this weekend to plan strike action against rising tuition fees.

Thousands of students are already on strike, and they expect more to join the cause in coming weeks.

They say they'll do whatever it takes to change the government's plan to increase university tuition fees over the next few years.

The students say they are serious about striking, and spent the weekend preparing for what they call the inevitable.

"They won't have a choice. We'll be everywhere, we'll do everything we have do," said Marc-Olivier Goulet of College Ahuntsic.

Students say they're planning a massive strike, but want to do it correctly, so they spent the weekend listening to experts on strike psychology, the rights of protesters, and how to win the nearly two-year-long war they have been waging against tuition increases.

"Society has to support them," said moderator Rejean Parent. "Even if they have the best strike in the world, they will lose if they don't have the support of the public."

The fight, however, has not always been civilized. Last spring, a student protest of 2,000 demonstrators turned violent, leading to arrests. Police used riot tactics such as stun guns and pepper spray to disperse the crowd.

On Thursday, 37 students were arrested after a protest at CEGEP du Vieux Montreal spun out of control.

"I think that both the admin and student unions stand for education, but the thing is, if there's no collaboration, then things like Vieux Montreal will happen," said Lenny Leprince of the Dawson College Student Union.

Legislation to raise tuition fees by $325 per year for five years is expected to be tabled in March, meaning full-time students will pay $3,793 per year by 2017. The current average annual tuition in Quebec is $2,415.

The Parti Quebecois has traditionally supported keeping tuitions low.

"We support the movement of the students because that is not just, that is not equitable," said PQ leader Pauline Marois Sunday.

The Charest government has acknowledged that the hikes are unpopular, but has said they are necessary.

Strike votes will be held on CEGEP and university campuses across Quebec until mid-March, when thousands of students are expected to walk out of their classrooms and onto the picket line.