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Student Night March, April 28, 2012

by Neal Rockwell

Saturday’s night march was slightly different from other night marches that took place this week in that the police did not break it up with tear gas, flash-bang grenades or pepper-spray. Near Place Des Arts the police public address truck ordered protestors to walk only in the direction of traffic and to turn onto Bleury Street, which they ignored. It seemed likely that the police would then declare the demonstration illegal as on previous days, but instead the riot squad merely walked beside the crowd for the entire duration of the protest. In the absence of police violence the march carried on for four hours, eventually terminating at Place Émilie-Gamelin, which was also its starting place, where demonstrators briefly occupied the intersection of St-Catherine Street and Berri. As the crowd was dispersing, some police officers tried unsuccessfully to instigate a confrontation by violently shoving certain people with their batons. My associate David Koch was also grabbed and pushed by a police officer without reason.

The march also encountered, what seemed to me, an unusual number of stag parties with people carrying blow-up dolls. I found the picture of the man holding one of the dolls and giving the crowd the middle finger to be an especially absurd image.

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