Lights up for 101
About 400 French language activists gathered at Place des Festivals for an evening photo op on Wednesday.
They held lights and stood in formation to make a giant "MTL 101" as a photographer snapped pictures from a cherry picker high above them.
The event was organized by Partenaires pour un Quebec francais, an umbrella organization counting the Societe St-Jean Baptiste, Mouvement Quebec francais and several big unions as members.
Organizers said it was a call to arms to promote French on the island of Montreal.
They think the use of English is eroding the French presence in the cityand that the province's official language needs further, tougher laws to prevent that.
The SSJB's Jules Gagne says francophones are partly to blame for what he says is an easing of linguistic tension here.
Francophones "like to speak English and they like to show that they are part of North American society," he said. "I think there's less tension than there was before. I think there should be more tension."
About 10 counter-demonstrators showed up waving Canadian flags and homemade signs. And while some heated words were exchanged, the event ended peacefully.
Photo courtesy Partenaires pour un Quebec francais