April 4, 2012

Photo essay: Police brutality in the Quebec student strike

A student journalist is arrested for filming police brutality 
Helmeted and shield-wielding police charge a line of students. Police fire a sound-bomb directly into the faces of protesters, blinding one student in the eye.  Without warning, tear gas explodes over a peaceful demonstration. A march of students in a downtown area is followed by twenty police wagons for arrests, a cavalcade of horse and mounted cops, riot squads, and a helicopter.

Is this the developing world? No it is Montreal and Quebec today, with police violence reaching a new nadir of aggression against democratic dissent. Rebel Youth presents this photo essay.

Striking student Francis Grenier suffered a serious eye injury and is currently blind in one eye after a March 7 protest outside Conférence des recteurs et des principaux des universités du Québec (the University Rector's Association, which was one of the first groups to call for increased fees). Grenier was hit with a sound bomb while playing harmonica. The police response has been to find doctors to claim that the injury was self-inflicted.

Riot police in action. Note the numbers -- they are for coordination of riot squad units into
 attack and charge protesters. Below: Police gas (top) and spray (bottom) protesters. Note the masks.

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