Montreal tries on 'Up All Night'

The goal of the event is 'to create spaces for people who were not involved in politics. It's a movement of citizens'


Afp April 23, 2016
PHOTO: AFP

MONTREAL: About 200 demonstrators gathered late Friday in Montreal to give the "Up All Night" protests sweeping France a go, and see if they can press for political results across the Atlantic.

The goal of the event, said student Pauline, is "to create spaces for people who were not involved in politics. It's a movement of citizens."

Quebec lawmakers Manon Masse and Amir Khadir, with the leftist Quebec solidaire, worked the crowd and listened to the concerns and demands of protestors outside the French consulate in Montreal.

The "Nuit Debout" demonstrations began in March in opposition to the government's proposed labour reforms, but the movement has now embraced a range of grievances and begun to take on a revolutionary feel.

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In recent days, after up to 3,000 predominantly young demonstrators have occupied the giant Place de la Republique square in Paris each evening, small groups of hooded youths have moved in, apparently determined to clash with police.

In Montreal, those who took part voiced concerns about environmental issues such as an oil pipeline, about feminism and about indigenous people's rights. In Canada, the communities are called First Nations.

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"I'm here to look for an opportunity to raise awareness I'm here to look for an opportunity to raise awareness about our life as First Nations," said demonstrator Terry Weymouth.

Many demonstrations in France descend into violent clashes between demonstrators known as "casseurs" -- literally "breakers" -- and riot police.

The "Nuit Debout" movement -- the translation of the name also has a sense of rising up against power -- officially condemns such violence.

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