Political repression of the social protest movement must end! (La ligues des droits et libertés)

By: La ligue des droits et libertés
Originally published on: April 1, 2015
See original French text here: http://liguedesdroits.ca/?p=2688

PRESS RELEASE

Embargoed until 10:00 April 1, 2015

Montreal, April 1st, 2015 – In the face of the extremely brutal police interventions used to crack down on student strike-related demonstrations, the Ligue des droits et libertés, ASSÉ, SPUQ, SGPUM, FNEEQ, the Comités Printemps 2015, the Coalition opposée à la tarification et à la privatisation des services publics, the FFQ, the Observatoire sur les profilages and several other community organisations, unions and groups are outraged and deeply worried about the situation. They demand an immediate end to this political repression.

The violent nature of this repression has already been roundly criticized. The fact that it has come about in such a brutal manner, at the very start of the student strike movement, bears witness to an increasing will to crush the social movement and demonstrates the political character of this repression. Calls to order and other commentary offered by certain politicians such as Quebec City mayor Labeaume or Anie Samson – the official in charge of Public Security on the City of Montreal council who declared that this year there would be “zero tolerance and the police will enforce the rules” – confirm a clear political intention to nip the strike movement and student protests in the bud.

In this way their aim is to stifle the student movement’s collective message denouncing the Couillard government’s austerity politics and policies favouring hydrocarbon.

These organisations remind us that repressive strategies against social protests throughout Canada and particularly in Quebec have already, on several occasions been the object of severe condemnations by the UN, notably for the use of weapons and tear gas, mass and preventative arrests, and the abusive detention conditions of arrestees. The UN then denounced putting the right to exercise free speech by demonstration in jeopardy. The bodies also emphasized that these strategies violate the integrity of those present and involve arbitrary arrests and wrongful detentions.

The organisations signing this press release find the use of various crowd control weapons such as irritant gasses completely unacceptable; not only for the damage they cause to protesters’ health but also for the threat they pose to a target’s physical integrity or even life, especially when fired at point blank range. It is being reported that numerous people have been wounded in the last few days.

The individuals who are currently expressing themselves through public protests represent a legitimate political action, which is protected by our charters of rights and freedoms.

Considering the gravity of the situation, these organisations call for the immediate end to the use of different crowd control weapons and mass arrests, as well as the end of this political repression.

List of Press Release Signatories:

Armes à l’œil
Association des juristes progressistes (AJP)
Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (ASSÉ)
Centre des femmes d’ici et d’ailleurs
Coalition Main Rouge Collectif opposé à la brutalité policière (COBP)
Commission populaire sur la répression politique
Confédération des syndicats nationaux du Québec (CSN)
Conseil central Montréal métropolitain-CSN (CCMM-CSN)
Fédération autonome de l’enseignement (FAE)
Fédération des femmes du Québec (FFQ)
Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ)
Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ)
Fédération nationale des enseignantes et des enseignants du Québec (FNEEQ-CSN)
Front commun des personnes assistées sociales du Québec (FCPASQ)
Front d’action populaire en réaménagement urbain (FRAPRU)
Greenpeace
L’Observatoire sur les profilages
La Convergence des luttes anticapitalistes (CLAC-Mtl)
Les Alter Citoyens
Les comités Printemps étudiant 2015
Ligue des droits et libertés
L’R des centres de femmes du Québec
Mouvement autonome et solidaire des sans-emploi (MASSE)
Mouvement d’éducation populaire et d’action communautaire du Québec (MÉPACQ) Palestiniens et Juifs Unis (PAJU)
Pascale Dufour, Professeure agrégée, Université de Montréal, Directrice du Centre de recherche sur les politiques et le développement social (CPDS)
Regroupement d’éducation populaire en action communautaire des régions de Québec et Chaudière-Appalaches (RÉPAC 03-12)
Regroupement des comités logement et associations de locataires du Québec (RCLALQ)
Réseau québécois des groupes écologistes (RQGE)
Syndicat de la fonction publique et parapublique du Québec (SFPQ)
Syndicat des chargées et chargés de cours de l’UQAM (SCCUQ)
Syndicat des professeures et professeurs de l’Université du Québec en Outaouais (SPUQO) Syndicat des professeurs et professeures de l’Université du Québec à Montréal (SPUQ)
Syndicat général des professeurs et professeures de l’Université de Montréal (SGPUM)
Syndicat industriel des travailleurs et des travailleuses – Montréal (IWW / SITT)
Table ronde des OVEP de l’Outaouais (TROVEPO)

For information and interviews: Lysiane Roch, Ligue des droits et libertés: 514-715-7727
Justin Arcand, ASSÉ: 514-835-2444

***

Translated from the original French by Language and Dissent, a collectively-run blog supporting the anti-austerity struggle in Quebec. These are amateur translations written by volunteers; we have done our best to translate these pieces fairly and coherently, but the final texts may have their flaws. If you find any important errors in any of these texts, we would be very grateful if you would share them with us via email (languageanddissent [at] gmail [dot] com). Please read and distribute these texts in the spirit in which they were intended; that of solidarity and the sharing of information.

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