Spontaneous protest sparked by unknown source

Many student protests took place last spring, including this one on McGill College St. in March 2012. Photo by Navneet Pall.
Photo by Navneet Pall.

A text message from an unknown source indicating the presence of Quebec Premier Jean Charest in Google’s newly-opened downtown Montreal offices quickly spread among students on Monday. The text message said that Charest would be at Google Quebec headquarters’ grand opening at 3 p.m. and ended with “keep this secret but please forward.” About 300 students showed up in front of the designated building on McGill College Avenue in a mix of confusion and excitement as they started protesting. Students then tried to barge into the offices and were met by about 20 SPVM officers. After a 10-minute confrontation, the students were pushed away from the building’s entrance and pepper sprayed in the process. They then continued to protest and left the premises without further altercation.
Education Minister Line Beauchamp was also supposed to be at a public function the same day; she was scheduled to make an announcement regarding bullying at Ecole secondaire Henri-Bourassa in Montreal North, but cancelled because, according to her press attache, she did not want protesters to disturb the “classes and security” of the students inside.

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