Some students gathered early this morning in front of the Hall building, chanting, dancing and peacefully blocking the front entrance of the building with tape and balloons. At 11.30 a.m., about 100 students started marching in circles around the downtown campus, progressively joined by more protesters along the way.
“At the beginning, we were supposed to stay around the Hall building, but then a bunch of people said ‘let’s go to Charest’s office [on McGill College Avenue],’ so we did,” said CSU VP external Chad Walcott. “It went amazingly well and our numbers more than doubled during the march.”
After a couple of circles around the Hall building, the protesters walked on Ste-Catherine Street, escorted by police cars and attracting drivers’ and pedestrians’ attention with vuvuzelas, accompanied by a giant bookworm made out of a dozen students hiding under sewed sheets.
The protesters then went up McGill College Avenue for a quick stop in front of Quebec Premier Jean Charest’s office, before heading back towards Concordia.
“I am extremely proud of Concordia students today,” said School of Community and Public Affairs professor Anna Kruzynski, who took part in the march. “It’s the first time in Concordia’s history that students go on strike for more than one day and this march went great. We have to take the tuition hikes issue to the street in order to be visible and gain the most support before the provincial government passes the budget on March 20.”
When the march ended around 1 p.m., students remained in front of the Hall building, enjoying free food and partially blocking traffic by chanting and dancing to the sound of drums.
“If we continue like this, we will hopefully get a positive momentum and make all students join us without even having to picket,” said Walcott. “Our next step is to continue demonstrating and taking to the streets to make the message public and attract the maximum number of people at the March 22 protest.”