We intend to break Bill 78: CLASSE
Published Tuesday, May 22, 2012 8:12AM EDT
MONTREAL - CLASSE said it is prepared to face any legal consequence that comes from breaking Bill 78.
The student group announced Monday that it would continue to protest throughout the summer without offering police notice of its planned route, a tactic deemed illegal under the province's emergency law placing restrictions on demonstrations.
The student movement is preparing to mark 100 days of protest Tuesday with a massive afternoon march in downtown Montreal, leaving from Place des Festivals at 2 p.m.
"We will continue to fight, even if there are fines," said CLASSE President Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois. "It's more important to protest according to your fundamental rights than to respect a law that is unjust."
The leader said the call to break the new law was not intended to incite vandalism or violence.
"The call we are launching today is not a call to violence," said Nadeau-Dubois, saying demonstrators would continue to protest and express rights guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The student association will stand in solidarity with all those prosecuted under the new special law of the Charest government, said CLASSE spokesperson Jeanne Reynolds, adding that inaction was implied complicity.
Nadeau-Dubois also said they will be reaching out to other activist groups and members of the community for financial support so they can sustain their demonstrations and provide legal assistance to those who are arrested and charged.
CLASSE also announced it launched a new website with names and photos of those who chose to disobey the law. It is asking others to publicly post their own photos and "pledge to continue fighting, to remain mobilized under fundamental freedoms."
A coalition of unions and civil society groups is encouraging people to join in the demonstration to denounce the tuition increases and a new emergency law aimed at restoring order in the province.
CLASS is challenging Bill 78, which forces the organizers of a demonstration of 50 or more people to provide the route to police eight hours in advance.
More than 300 people were arrested overnight Sunday in the 27th of nightly protests relating to the tuition hikes imposed by the Quebec government.
"This is almost a record for us," said Ian Lafreniere, spokesperson for the Montreal police.
CLASSE said they believe the government's plan to calm the tension has backfired.
"That's probably the first reason why this government should accept to cancel this law, before people get injured and even before people maybe die. That would be dramatic, and no one wants to go there," said Nadeau-Dubois.
Following the CLASSE announcement, about 1,000 supporters staged an impromptu march.
With a file from The Canadian Press