Opposing the measures implemented by provincial and federal governments
On March 4, people gathered outside Mont-Royal metro at 6:30 p.m. for the protest “Together Against Austerity” (Ensemble contre l’austerité! Harper, Marois, même combat!) organized by the Comité d’action solidaire contre l’austerité (CASA).
According to the Financial Times Lexicon, “Austerity measures refer to official actions taken by the government, during a period of adverse economic conditions, to reduce its budget deficit using a combination of spending cuts or tax rises.”
CASA encouraged people to bring pans, placards and noisemakers, which people did. The protest had about 50 participants.
One of the protestors present, a foreign worker and also a member of the Immigrant Workers Centre (IWC), explained that in his home country of Spain, austerity has put a lot of people in debt.
“The facts are that after four years of austerity, there is 27 per cent of children in Spain that are below the line of poverty. This was the 12th economy of the world or so they say, like six or seven years ago.”
“The tax system is for the rich and against the poor.” (Fiscalité pour les riches et contre les pauvres). “The solution would be to not do like Martine Desjardins.” said Justin Arcand, one of the spokesperson of the association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (ASSÉ). Desjardins, the former president of the University Student Federation of Québec (FEUQ) spent months fighting against the tuition increase during the Maple Spring in 2012. However, she has decided to join the Parti Québecois. Arcand does not understand how she fought against tuition increase and now joins a party who is proposing increases.
As the protesters left the metro area to walk on Mont-Royal Avenue, the police declared the march illegal. Police cars surrounded the area. The protest ended shortly after 7:30 p.m. on Mont-Royal Avenue just by De Lorimier Street.
The ASSÉ will be organizing another protest against austerity on April 3 at 2 p.m. at Émilie-Gamelin Park by Berri-Uqam metro.
Photos by Keith Race