Shades of Maple Spring as students protest austerity

Photo by Patrick Lejtenyi

A demonstration against austerity measures enacted by the PQ government ended with police dispersing the crowd this afternoon.

At least eight people were arrested andt two were injured.

The demonstrators were demanding an end to the measures and vowed they would return to the streets in their demands are not met.

As for the march, with the crowds in the thousands, the drums, the chants - it was all reminiscent of the student strike of spring 2012.

The demo's ending was familiar as well: tear gas and riot police rushing the crowd.

Student group ASSE organized the demonstration. Spokesperson Benjamin Gingras said afterwards that the police response was unjustified.

"I am surprised that in 2014, in a democratic society that we supposedly live in, our fundamental rights are being violated," he said.

The demonstration was declared illegal from the outset as it was in violation of bylaw P6, which requires demonstrators to submit their itinerary to police.

That did not stop participants from marching through several areas, often against rush hour traffic, until police dispersed them at Sherbrooke and Jeanne-Mance.

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