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Opinions on March 22

by The Concordian March 27, 2012

Support for the massive anti-tuition hikes demonstration last Thursday not only came from the crowd of roaring students, but also from bystanders and window-watching residents. As the students marched through downtown, there were red banners and blankets waving from windows, which were answered by resounding screams from the marching students.
“[The protest] is definitely a start, and looking at all these signs and everything, it’s turning out really great. I don’t see how anyone can ignore something like this,” said Jennifer Delmundo, a Vanier College student who watched the marchers go by.
Josie Taylor, a high school student from British Columbia, did not expect to encounter a large protest while on vacation in Montreal. “We wanted to go shopping but it’s so busy. I guess if [the protest] is peaceful, then it’s fine. We just didn’t know this would happen.”
The protest proved to be problematic for some store owners because it disrupted normal business. An employee at Sarah Souvenirs on Ste-Catherine Street said, “Of course it disrupts business, but everyone has a right to express themselves.”
The protest also attracted street performers and clowns, such as one woman who sat on a step ladder beside the street on Sherbrooke, dressed in an exuberant and frilly red dress, and wore red pigtails. She waved the crowd on.
Annick Landry, an Université du Québec à Montréal internship coordinator, stood on the sidelines of the march, sporting red clothes and a felt patch.
“It’s a hard choice, but it’s for sure that the school system is under financed. I work in a university and we are in need of more financial support, but I don’t think the solution is taking that money from students’ pockets,” she said.
The protesters, whatever the outcome in the fight against tuition increases may be, say they will not back down just yet.
“It’s our responsibility as the privileged people that we are, who live in this province, to protect the golden amount of accessible education that we actually have,” said Hannah Morrow, a protester and Concordia theatre and development student. “If we allow this place with the lowest tuition to rise, we’re kind of failing all of Canada in a way.”

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