Groups want public inquiry into police conduct during Que. protests
Published Tuesday, November 13, 2012 3:05PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 13, 2012 10:49PM EST
A group of 51 organizations -- from civil liberties organizations to unions -- has banded together in Quebec to call for a public inquiry into police conduct during last spring’s student demonstrations.
The group issued a report Tuesday that contained details about various incidents, including arrests, during the demonstrations, which were largely targeted at a tuition hike proposed by the previous Liberal government.The report said more than 3,400 people were injured during the months of near-daily protests.
On its first full day in office in September, the new Parti Quebecois government scrapped the proposed hike.
The group is asking for a meeting with Premier Pauline Marois so they can request a public inquiry, much like the Charbonneau commission that is currently probing allegations of corruption in the province’s construction industry.
“They say that protesters during these demonstrations were intimated, inured and punished,” CTV Montreal’s Cindy Sherwin reported Tuesday.
Some of the high-profile organizations that make up the group include Amnesty International and the province’s Civil Rights League, as well as professors from the University of Montreal and the Universite du Quebec a Montreal.
Martine Desjardins, president of FEUQ, which represents more than 125,000 university students, said she expects support for the request from Marois. Desjardins pointed out that the premier had previously showed her support for the students by wearing a red square, which became the symbol of the demonstrations.
“So we think that right now, because we are 51 associations and we are asking over and over for her to have a real investigation, she will have a choice actually to listen,” Desjardins told reporters.
While the demonstrations rocked Montreal for much of the spring and summer, the unrest quieted down considerably with the start of the new school year, and the swearing-in of the new PQ government.However, another protest is scheduled for Nov. 22.
With a report from CTV Montreal’s Cindy Sherwin