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Ottawa students and supporters showed solidarity with Quebec protestors taking a stand against growing student debt, as over 1,000 people marched through the streets of Ottawa and Gatineau for more than three hours on May 29.

A number of Ottawa-area organizations, including CUPE locals at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, helped organize the event. Marchers gathered in Confederation Park to hear speeches from student leaders before the march got underway.

Participants brought their pots and pans out to make some noise, following the recent phenomenon that’s become the newest calling card of the Quebec protests.

Drawn out by the noise, many observers waved from the street and showed signs of support.

  • Check out the pots and pans (Casseroles) video from Quebec that’s gone viral.

Following a wicked storm that hit Ottawa in the late afternoon, marchers were slow to gather at first, but by the time the rally hit the streets the crowd had swelled.

The march made its way through downtown Ottawa and the Byward Market, with alternating English and French chants and rhythms beat out on the pots and pans, before crossing the Alexandria Bridge to Gatineau. During the cross many chanted, in both English and French, in opposition to special bill 78, the Quebec law that puts severe limits and threats of fines over public gatherings greater than 50 people that don’t follow rigid new rules.

The crowd stopped at the Palais de Justice (the Quebec courthouse) where protestors heard more speeches from leaders denouncing Bill 78. Marchers then continued through Gatineau before moving back into Ottawa, and wrapping up at the University of Ottawa campus.