Forty-five years ago students at Sir George Williams University (now Concordia) protested against a case of ongoing racism on campus. On January 29th, 1969 over 200 students occupied the Computer Centre in the Henry F. Hall Building, a sit in that lasted over ten days.

What began as a peaceful demonstration became a full-on riot when the police came on the scene on February 11th (as tends to happen) and the protest became a pandemonium of yells, destruction, and flying computers sent out of windows.

Radio-Canada has an anniversary video covering the historic moment. Watch some vintage footage and a moment in Montreal civil rights history right here.

The origin of the issue was a biology professor who was accused of purposely failing his Black students. Students protested against his actions and the university responded. A committee was formed to address the issue, who then dimsissed the complain of racism, which prompted students to start the protest and sit-in that lead to the infamous riot.

Nearly half a century has passed since then, but is racism still seen on Montreal university campuses?

For more on the history of Montreal, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte

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