CUPE joined student federations last Friday to protest against Bill 78 and tuition hikes. June 22 marked the fourth time in a row that tens of thousands of people filled Quebec streets on the 22nd day of the month. In Montreal, protesters gathered at Place du Canada, but the biggest show of support this time around came from Quebec City.
Tens of thousands of people gathered in front of the National Assembly to support the movement known as the printemps érable (maple spring)—a play on words based on the recent Arab Spring (Printemps arabe) protests—but also to oppose the new municipal bylaw governing demonstrations. The bylaw, which restricts the times and locations of demonstrations, was adopted by Mayor Régis Labeaume’s administration earlier this week.
“Despite the start of summer vacation, Quebecers came out to show the Charest government that the maple spring is turning into a maple summer, and the movement will stick together until the upcoming elections,” said Denis Bolduc, secretary-general of CUPE‑Quebec, while attending the Quebec City protest.
The student associations are determined to keep up the pressure throughout the summer, until school starts again in September.