The protest against austerity organized outside the National Assembly lasted around 3 hours. Soon, the police cordoned off the area in front of the National Assembly to prevent the demonstrators from walking the streets. At the height of the event, several hundred people gathered outside parliament.
The situation turned sour when students tried to continue the march despite the police cordon and get on Avenue Honoré Mercier. Pushing and shoving led to police responding with weapons aimed at the heads of the students. Tear gas and pepper spray were used and the event was immediately declared illegal.
The demonstrators had not given their itinerary, which violates the law. It is unclear at the time how many students were injured in today’s police attack, but a webpage has been set up for student’s to upload photos of their injuries sustained over the past few days protests.
Many demonstrators left the scene peacefully, but a few hundred remained and moved on Grande Allée and the Plains of Abraham.
They traveled Grande Allée westbound and then turned north on Turnbull Avenue. The police chased the students to the stairs that lead to the Lower Town and the demonstrators dispersed.
At 20 h 16, the Service de police de la Ville de Québec stated via Twitter that the event was over. The police made some arrests, but the official report of the evening will be announced later.
The spokesman for the ASSE, Camille Godbout, warned Thursday afternoon that it was possible that the protesters could decide to walk the streets. She added that if this were the case, the route would not be provided prior, even if the authorities have made clear on this.
“It is believed that the right to protest is a right that must not be framed because it falls a bit beside the purpose of the event, which is disturbing. ” – Camille Godbout, spokesman for the ASSE
Camille Godbout added that “anyway, as we have seen in recent months, even when framed, provided that there is a route, it does not prevent the police from acting very violently against people who are in the street. ”
In addition to the heavy police presence, security measures have been increased a notch before the National Assembly. The security perimeter was expanded so that the fences occupy the entire front of the parliament and also include the sides of the building.
read more – Huffpost – Quebec
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