The Charest government's passage of Bill 78 was supposed to return order to Montreal's streets. But last night, the Globe and Mail reports,
The scenes in Montreal unfolded during a tense late-night march that, on several occasions, saw riot police use tear gas and protesters throw bottles and rocks.
Student protesters were joined by others spilling out of bars and clubs.
Together, they built the fires and cheered as the flames lit up the streets and sent plumes of black smoke billowing into the night sky.
The protests have morphed into something much bigger than a protest against rising tuition fees. The people in the streets are challenging the legitimacy of a government which they believe is corrupt and self serving. Clearly, they plan to pay no attention to the the newly minted law:
At the same time, protesters were already finding creative ways around the controversial legislation.
In an attempt to avoid hefty fines, one prominent student group took down its web page Saturday that listed all upcoming protests. Another anonymous web page with listings quickly popped up in its place — with a note discouraging people from attending.
The disclaimer is meant to evade new rules applying to protest organizers, who must provide an itinerary for demonstrations and could be held responsible for any violence.
The website also accepts submissions for future protests and suggests using a software that blocks a sender’s digital trail.
The powers that be would do well to pay attention to what is happening in Quebec. The people in the streets represent a generation who feel they have been betrayed by the baby boomers. Further evidence of that betrayal came late Friday afternoon when the Harper government released figures on what the changes to OAS will cost the next generation:
Most Canadians 65 and older currently qualify for OAS and the average payment is $6,122.52 a year. That means the loss of income for a couple affected by the new rules is $24,490.08 over two years. The change will be phased in between April, 2023 and January, 2029, meaning it will not affect anyone who was 54 or older as of March 31, 2012.
As is typical of the Harper regime, the announcement was made at the beginning of a holiday weekend. The theory was that nobody would be paying attention. The Quebec protests prove that the kids are paying attention -- and they are willing to act on their discontent.