Nov 4, 2014 Comments Off
A Halloween protest against the Quebec Liberal government’s austerity plan, which was announced in spring 2014, turned out to be a “monster” on October 31.
Tens of thousands participated in the march, dubbed “Austerity: A Horror Story” in acknowledgement of it falling on Halloween. Members of Quebec’s largest union federations, retirees, health care workers, community groups and approximately 85,000 post-secondary students participated. The now-famous “red square,” symbol of 2012′s Maple Spring student protests in Quebec, was again seen everywhere in the Montreal core.
The last large anti-austerity protest in Montreal was on April 3, 2014, when approximately 60,000 students went on a one-day strike and took to the streets in response to the provincial government’s budget propositions. The march was organized by the Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (ASSÉ), one of the main forces behind the Maple Spring organizing.
Police in Montreal declared the April 3 march illegal before it started, claiming that organizers did not provide them with the march route ahead of time. The protest ended with violence as police deployed tear gas, pepper spray, projectile launchers, batons and shields against participants.
The October 31 march was also declared illegal for the same reason, but took place peacefully and without any major conflicts according to the Montreal Police Service (SPVM).