Anti-austerity marches take over Quebec streets

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Photo : Raynald Leblanc

All photos used with permission from Confédération des syndicats nationaux.

Thousands of people stormed the streets in Montreal and Quebec City this past weekend to protest against austerity measures proposed by the Quebec national government.

The march was organized by Collectif refusons l'austérité, a group that includes several union and student movements such as L'ASSÉ and Centrale des syndicats du Quebec.

Around 100,000 Montreal protesters descended on the downtown streets, making their way to Place des Festivals from René-Levesque Boulevard.

The anti-austerity movement inspired its own hashtag on Twitter: #manif29nov.

"Austerity is the fruit of [Parli Liberal Quebecois] neoliberalism that doesn't represent 30 per cent of us," tweeted Arlette Richer using the #manif29nov hashtag.

The march comes after the national government announced on Friday that it will be closing down fertility treatment centres, which has helped thousands of families in Quebec.

In Quebec City, the march started at the Plains of Abraham and concluded at the National Assembly.

The march was mostly peaceful as marchers opted to chant and bang on pots and pans.

The police, however, were prepared for something much more abrasive as they were fully dressed in riot gear.

According to reports in the Montreal Gazette, there wasn't noticeable tension between the police and the protesters.

"I find that cops in Montreal tend to be excessively brutal towards protesters," said Andy Crosby who attended the march. "However, you didn't see much of that this time."

The Liberal government has unleashed an anti-austerity agenda that aims to cut $4 billion to balance the 2015-2016 budget.

Public sector workers, including firefighters and the police, partly face the brunt of the cuts.

In addition, the municipal government in Montreal has doubled down on cuts to pension for city workers, giving the anti-austerity movement more impetus to fight back.

 Rachel Desjardins

 Michel Giroux

 Raynald Leblanc

 Raynald Leblanc

 Raynald Leblanc

 Raynald Leblanc

 Pascal Ratthé


Francella Fiallos is a fourth year journalism student at Carleton University in Ottawa. She sits on the board of directors for OPIRG-Carleton, edits a campus newspaper, and hosts a radio show on CKCU 93.1 FM in the capital region. 

All photos used with permission from Confédération des syndicats nationaux.

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