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Montreal Students Certified in Class Action Lawsuit Against The City

Quebec Superior Court rules in favour of students violently detained on May 23 2012
Montreal Students Certified in Class Action Lawsuit Against The City

Last year, on May 23 2012, amidst the city wide turmoil centered on tuition hikes and protests, over 500 students were arrested and detained during the 30th student demonstration to take place in Montreal. 5000 individuals took part in the protest, but at 1am a large handful were corralled on St. Denis street and then forced into 17 buses until well after 5am. Detained under what is now regarded as unjust cause, student protester Jean-Pierre Lord filed a case to the Quebec Superior Court against the city of Montreal for the harsh and unjust actions against students. The Quebec Superior Court has now officially approved said lawsuit.

The basis of Lord's case is the unwarranted and overtly violent action the Montreal police force used against the peaceful student protesters. Around 500 individuals were handcuffed, searched, and then detained to be taken to the police station. Lord's motion claims protesters with health conditions were not given humane treatment or leeway, as were many others, with one woman claiming she was denied use of a toilet and was forced to urinate at the back of the bus.

Twitter was used as a primary source of evidence during the cases approval. Despite Bill 78, a law preventing large organized protests, Lord claimed the police forces tweets implied the march could continue. The authorities are said to have later tweeted that protesters could not enter the Viger, a which was complied with, only to then be blocked by police on St Denis street, then tear gassed, pepper sprayed, and rounded up.

Judge Marc-André Blanchard ruled in favour of Lord's case and stated the city of Montreal's justification for such brutal action were “frivolous and unfounded.” Lord is requesting $2, 500 in damages, and the same for others who were similarly detained.

Do you wholly agree with the Quebec Superior Court's Ruling? Should the city's police forces be reprimanded further? Voice your opinion in the comments below.

Source - The Montreal Gazette

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