Arrests, injuries follow clash between student protesters and police in Montreal

March 8, 2012

5 people were arrested and several parts of Montreal's downtown core were subjected to traffic chaos Wednesday as hundreds of students protested increasing tuition fees. The protest began around lunchtime, when approximately 1,000 students marched to the Loto-Québec building and blocked its entrance, leading to a clash with the Montreal police riot squad. Police used tear gas and flash bombs to disperse the crowd, and several officers and protesters were injured in the confrontation. A Cégep de Saint-Jérôme student says his right eye was badly injured by the blast of a police stun grenade during the protest. Having undergone surgery for a detached retina, the student says he doesn't know if he'll regain vision in his eye. Approximately 200 students rallied in downtown Montreal Wednesday evening to protest what they called unnecessary violence on the part of the police. The Quebec government says its planned tuition fee increases will still leave the province with some of the lowest rates in Canada, and the new fees will help ensure the quality and sustainability of Quebec's universities. Protesting students call it a question of values; they say the fee increase would discourage some from attending university, and also believe funding to pay for better schools is available from other provincial sources. Montreal Gazette | CTV | CBC