Published: 21 April, 2012, 01:13
A protestor is arrested by police after a student demonstration against tuition hikes in Montreal on April 20, 2012(Reuters / Christinne Muschi)
Law enforcement officers in Montreal, Quebec, Canada fired grenades and tear gas into crowds of protesters on Friday as students demonstrated against tuition hikes in a rally that turned violent.
A clash between college students protesting the continuously increasing cost of education in Canada and police erupted on the streets of the city center. Hundreds of demonstrators are reported to have rallied in downtown Montreal against tuition hikes, only to be confronted with police in riot gear during the early afternoon.
By mid-day, at least ten protesters were arrested by authorities and both demonstrators and law enforcement alike have reported to have incurred serious injuries after the students’ rally became marred by fighting on both sides.
"I wasn't doing anything violent," Nicolas Moran, 21, tells a CTV affiliate in Montreal. "A police officer hit me over the head… But I doubt the education minister will denounce violence from police," continued Moran.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation says police used batons, chemical irritants, tear gas and concussion grenades on the protesters. The demonstrators are reported to have met that firestorm with rocks and other projectiles. CTV reports that cars and media trucks have been damaged in the rally.
Moran is a law student at the Université du Québec à Montréal and was one of many protesters that entered the city’s Palais des congrès on Friday where Premier Jean Charest was scheduled to deliver a speech. Moran suffered a head injury; at least one officer experienced the same.