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NEWS: Council of Canadians opposes Bill 78

The Montreal Gazette reports that “civil liberty groups, the Quebec Bar Bar Association, professors”, La ligue des droits et libertés , 40,000 people who signed a petition, and “even Strike the Strike, a group against the walkout and critical of student leaders” are opposing Bill 78, which became law yesterday at 5:30 pm.

“The Council of Canadians also denounced the bill, calling it undemocratic, unconstitutional and repressive. ‘Just days after a stinging indictment of the widespread repression that took place in Toronto during the G20 (summit), the Charest government in Quebec seems intent on outdoing the largest violation of civil liberties in Canadian history with its introduction of Bill 78,’ it wrote in a statement calling on its members and supporters to sign the petition against the legislation.”

The article highlights, “People who haven’t marched on the streets in decades vowed to do so next Tuesday in angry opposition to a law passed Friday to deal with the deepening student crisis but that severely restricts Quebecers’ right to demonstrate. As Bill 78 – some call it a disguised War Measures Act – was debated in the National Assembly Friday, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, co-spokesperson for the more radical student association CLASSE, tweeted that all Quebecers should seriously consider disobeying the law.”

The Globe and Mail adds, “(A) march (took place in Montreal just) hours after the government passed a law setting limits on the ability to protest. …Participants had said they were encouraged by the thousands-strong turnout (other media reports say more than 10,000 people were on the streets) and by the support from bystanders honking their car horns or clapping while they passed. …The protest had been peaceful over its first hour. …Police said they were given the march route in advance — one of the many stipulations of the new provincial law. They were not commenting, however, on reports that their phone lines were flooded by people calling to report the route, in a unique gesture of civil disobedience. …(Then) Molotov cocktails were tossed… Police responded to being pelted with projectiles by firing rubber bullets, noise bombs and tear gas into the crowd.” The police declared the protest illegal and told people to disperse immediately.

To see our blog opposing Bill 78, please go to http://canadians.org/blog/?p=15222. Our media release on it is at http://canadians.org/media/other/2012/18-May-12.html. The petition opposing the legislation is at http://www.loi78.com/.