There have been 12 or so weeks of student protests here in Quebec. The government plans to increase tuition by around 75% over five years. The new tuition will still be very low, around $3,000, but the students are quite upset.
If that makes little sense to you, let’s just say that cultural expectations are very different from the US or the rest of Canada.
The protests have turned occasionally violent of late, and students have been staging night marches for the past two weeks. Riot cops follow them around everywhere, and sometimes break up the marches with force.
I finally got to see my first protest. I live on a very quiet street, where nothing ever happens, so it was quite a contrast. I’d say about 1,000-2,000 students marched by, trailed by about 100 cops on foot and in cars.
Memory card got full, but nothing happened in between. The protestors left, and the cops followed for a bit then turned back.
There was one minor incident when someone threw something big and plastic at a cop on a bicycle. But no one on either side was interested in escalating. Despite noticeable tension, nothing came of it.