Photo cred - Arckii
Montreal's vibrant energy stems from its citizens, a multicultural mix of fun-loving individuals who brave the cold, love poutine, and most importantly, fight for what they believe in. Unlike many other Canadian populations, the people of Montreal are proud to oppose controversial issues and actively fight for positive change.
Over the years Montreal has experienced some pretty major demonstrations, with flocks of citizens pounding the pavement to change Montreal for the better. Here is a list of some of Montreal's high profile protests in recent years.
1) Student Tuition protests that took place February 2012 until September 2012.
At the time, Premier Jean Charest called for an increase in student tuition from approximately 2000$ to 4000$, with the hike taking place progressively from 2012 to 2018. Students did not hesitate to voice their anger; on March 20th 150 students blocked off the inbound Champlain Bridge with concrete roadblocks, and two days later, on March 22nd, thousands took to the streets and blocked off approximately fifty blocks, effectively paralyzing downtown Montreal traffic.
2) Yearly protest against police brutality
An annual tradition for the last sixteen years, scores of citizens march for the International Day Against Police Brutality every March 15th to show their discontent against how the police deals with civilians. Policing a city that is known for its politically charged environment isn't easy, but does that justify the use of tear gas and weapons? Join in next March 15th if you think the answer is no.
3) Charte des Valeurs Quebecois
Still very much in Montreal's public consciousness, the Charte des Valeurs seeks to limit religious expression of government officials by banning an individual's right to wear large religious symbols. Examples include veils and large crucifixes. As Premier Pauline Marois attempts to figure out how she can neutralize the public sector, she has stepped on many toes, sending hundreds in a an organized frenzy to denounce the Charte and demand that religious rights remain untouched.
4) CSN picket lines
We can’t discuss protests without mentioning The Confederation des Syndicats Nationaux and its mission to protect the rights of unionized employees. The CSN includes thousands of employees, and many are regularly seen with picketing outside company buildings to demand better working conditions and improved wages.
5) Canada Post protests in 2012
In one grand gesture, all postal workers walked out of the company to demand better working conditions. Our mailing system was paralyzed completely for the duration of the lock out as employees refused to go back to work before negotiations were set in order to respond to their demands.
Many think that protests are not going to accomplish anything, but isn't the risk of sitting around and doing nothing far greater than going out and voicing concerns in the hopes of inspiring change? Tell us what you think of the effectiveness of public protests and any important ones we may have missed in the comments below.