Four carloads of Halifax residents left Thursday to join students in Montreal for Friday’s demonstration against tuition fee hikes in Quebec.
Organized rallies have been taking place on the 22nd of each month since March. The first attracted 200,000 supporters and the last doubled in size.
Rebecca Rose with the Canadian Federation of Students has high hopes for Friday’s demonstration.
“It’s hard to get bigger than 400,000 people, but they’ve definitely been gaining some steam,” she said by phone Thursday prior to leaving for Montreal.
The Halifax team is armed with students from three local universities, members of the CFS and some recent graduates. They plan to join another small group from Nova Scotia while in Quebec, she added.
Protestors have been challenging the Jean Charest government’s plan to raise tuition in Quebec annually by $254 over the next seven years, as well as Bill 78.
Bill 78, which the United Nations has compared to human-rights issues such as those in North Korea, forbids any form of protest or picketing in Quebec without prior police approval.
The bill was a response to the protests occurring in Quebec. Demonstrations have been a regular occurrence in Montreal, some turning violent. The student strike began on Feb 13 with protesters calling for an outright tuition freeze.
“Students have decided to take it to the streets to continue to gain public support and put the heat on the government,” said Rose.