OttawaOver 400 protesters were arrested in Quebec City over the past weekend and many have been treated badly, said Judy Darcy, National President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). The treatment of those arrested has been deplorable. There have been reports that many protesters were stripped, searched, and hosed down with cold water. This occurred in very public spaces. Many were also held on a bus for more than eight hours without access to a washroom or food, said Darcy.
CUPE has given financial assistance to the Quebec legal team and will continue to support the protesters demands that all charges be dropped and all protesters be released immediately.
We are asking our members to contact the Ministry of Justice in Quebec and ask that the protesters be released. In addition we are adding our voice to the growing list of those calling for a federal inquiry into what happened in Quebec. Why did the federal government sanction the use of what felt like the nations supply of tear gas? How can the Prime Minister justify the violation of our rights to freedom of assembly and free speech? added Darcy.
Our only offence was to speak out against the FTAA and the attack that NAFTAs Chapter 11 makes on our public services. We have the right to free assembly in this country and no fence will ever limit the right of Canadians to express their opinion, added Darcy.
Our union will continue to monitor the situation and offer assistance wherever needed, concluded Darcy.
Contact: Catherine Louli, (613) 237-1590 ext. 268 or (613) 851-0547 mobile