MONTREAL — Quebec’s largest student group has vowed to defy the Quebec government’s new emergency law, calling for a summer of protests and acts of civil disobedience.
The C.L.A.S.S.E., the more radical of the province’s three main student associations, declared Monday it would continue to encourage protests even if it meant it would lead to harsh financial penalties under the province’s Bill 87.
“The special law won’t kill the student movement,” spokesman Gabrielle Nadeau-Dubois said at a news conference on Monday.
“The fundamental rights under threat today need to be defended.”
The student group called for protests at least until classes, which were suspended under the legislation, resume in August. It also launched an appeal for financial assistance for a legal challenge against Bill 78 and to help pay for any fines incurred under the new legislation.
While a recent poll suggested the majority of Quebecers were in favour of the law, the government continues to face stiff opposition from those who argue it’s an affront on civil liberties.
A massive demonstration is planned for Tuesday afternoon to mark 100 days since the first group of students walked out of class. A coalition of 140 community groups and unions encouraged people to join the demonstration to denounce the tuition increases and the legislation.
“We decided earlier this year that the tuition increases should be a priority,” Veronique Laflamme, a spokeswoman for the coalition, said in an interview.
“But now, with the introduction of Bill 78, we find it even more important to participate in the protests.”
Several of the coalition members have already provided financial support for the student protests, she said.
Meanwhile, the international hacker group Anonymous hacked into the Quebec government public security’s website today, the latest in a series of apparent cyber attacks against the province. A post on the hacked web page warned the government to be fearful of the group.
“We don’t forgive,” the post said. “We don’t forget.”
Tensions were high during the nightly protests over the weekend after the bill was passed last Friday. More than 300 people were arrested on Sunday night alone and at least 20 were injured, including 11 police officers — though none seriously. Another protest was scheduled for Monday night.