By Roger Annis, April 3, 2015
Organizers of the student-led, anti-austerity march in the city of Montreal on April 2 say that 75,000 people took part. This was the largest social rights protest in the province of Quebec since the historic student strike of 2012 that began in February and lasted most of that year.
Across Quebec, April 2 was a day of strike by post-secondary students. An estimated 100,000 walked out of school. There were an estimated 70,000 students already on strike beginning on March 23.
The march in Montreal was joined by many unionized workers. The second-largest union federation in the province, the CSN, called on its members to join the march. Among the union members who took part in the march were professors and instructors at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). The staff of 1,700 educators at UQAM voted for a two-day strike in conjunction with the April 2 day of action. They are embroiled in collective agreement negotiations with the university.
You can watch a time-lapse video here of the entire march as it passes under the overpass of Berri St. in the center of Montreal. You can watch some random video and also read comments by participants in the march here in the Montreal Gazette daily newspaper. There you can also view photos and read running comment by the Gazette’s reporter Monique Muise.
There is a brief report on the march on the CBC website.
Read also: The students strike back: 75,000 protest austerity in Montreal, by Ethan Cox, in Ricochet, April 3, 2015
A large, student-led march against austerity also took place in the city of Sherbrooke, about 100 km east of Montreal. The La Tribune daily newspaper has a report and photo of the march (in snowy weather) but provides no estimate of numbers.
Several reports by Ricochet writer and editor Ethan Cox have summarized the debate taking place among student organizers of whether the strike should be suspended this month if demands to stop any further tuition fee hikes are not agreed by trhe provincial government. You can read those here on ‘A Socialist in Canada’ or on Ricochet.
Watch this page for more reports on yesterday’s anti-austerity march and watch this website for further reporting on the Quebec student strike. The next large anti-austerity marches in Quebec will take place on May 1.