April 2012- Maple Spring- Student Strike Rocks Montreal

In the spring of 2012, a massive student strike in opposition to a tuition hike, rocked the streets of the Montréal for over six months. Protests and militant street actions became part of the daily and nightly reality of this Canadian metropolis. Several times during this tumultuous spring, the numbers in the streets would reach over one hundred thousand. Police routinely clubbed students and their allies, and arrested them by the hundreds. Some were even banned from entering the city. But every time the cops struck, the student movement got bigger and angrier. The line of police was pushed back night after night.

 

The government passed a bill to bar students from gathering at the university. People showed up anyway. Especially people who had not been participating, they felt this was too far. More people than ever before showed up with pots and pans. One thousand people were arrested.  The movement became bigger than the tuition hike and largely normalized anarchist tactics like black bloc and was successful in main demand of halting the tuition hike.

 

One year later, the elected politician who vowed to not raise tuition agreed to a 3% raise every year. The fight for free education continues.

 

Short Film on the Strike

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