Polls and pundits thought that the recent Quebec student strike movement had lost it's momentum and sympathy in that city. On Tuesday what may have been over 250,000 protesters marched through the metropolis to make their position clear; "Our Streets!"
The huge protest on Tuesday was a savage and painful reminder of the 100 day strike that has crippled the city and caused major political headaches for Premier Jean Charest's Liberal majority government in the beleaguered province.
Citizens of all ages ,sizes and economic backgrounds have joined in the rapidly growing youth movement. High school students,their parents, and senior citizens were prominent in the gathering, along with more colorful and perhaps radical elements chanting slogans and the rejoinder "Our Streets!" in response to Charest' s controversial new law Bill 78.
Former Premier of Quebec Jean Charest
If there is a poster child for this revolution then it would be The student leader of CLASSE Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.
CLASSE is the most militant of the three major student groups which are protesting the tuition raises of $254(cdn) per year over a seven year period culminating in a hike of $1778(cdn) overall.
"Thousands of people have come to demonstrate with us, not only against the rise in tuition rates but with the intention to signal their disapproval of the special law." said the charismatic Nadeau- Dubois.
"The gesture made by tens of thousands is one of massive and collective disobedience."
In a press conference also held on Tuesday Quebec Public Safety Minister Robert Dutil defended Bill 78 which many civil right lawyers are heralding as Canada's worst law since the War Measures Act in the 60's.
"Other societies with rights and freedoms to protect have found it reasonable to impose certain constraints, first of all to protect the protesters and also to protect the police" said the Minister.
Dutil then listed Los Angeles Geneva, New York City and Toronto, that currently require notice to assemble.
In solidarity many protesters wore a red square of cloth, red clothing or red make-up, in fact on NBC's Saturday Night Live revolutionary grandpa Mick Jagger sported a red shirt with his new backing band Montreal's The Arcade Fire in sympathy for the protesters while performing "The Last Time".
Many celebrities are urging support for the protesters including Michael Moore who has tweeted the movement bilingually and TAF's Win Butler.