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Ex-student spokesperson Nadeau-Dubois found guilty of contempt
Judge finds he illegally encouraged students to ignore injunction against picket lines
Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, ex-spokesperson for the CLASSE, faces up to a year in court and $50,000 in fines. PHOTO: Madoc facebook.com/madocstudio.com
Also posted by Tim McSorley:
Also in Police/Prisons:
(Updates at bottom)
Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, the ex-student spokesperson who for many became the face of the Quebec student movement this past spring, was found guilty of contempt of court today.
During the strike, Nadeau-Dubois was accused of contempt for allegedly encouraging students to disobey an injunction banning picket lines at the Université de Laval in Quebec City. The student who filed the injunction, Jean-François Morasse, said that Nadeau-Dubois' statement during an interview on the Réseau de l'information explicitly encouraged students to break the law. After hearing the case in the fall, today Quebec Superior Court Judge Denis Jacques issued a written ruling
saying he agreed.
Morasse's lawyer has asked for a prison sentence for Nadeau-Dubois. The sentencing hearing will be in Quebec City on November 9. He faces up to a year in prison, but that could also be commuted to a fine of up to $5,000 or community service.
The Association pour une Solidarité Syndicale Étudiante (ASSÉ), which was at the heart of the organization for which Nadeau-Dubois was the spokesperson, denounced the ruling. In a release
, they said that they stand by Nadeau-Dubois and that his words at the time were a reflection of the stance of the entire organization, and not simply his own. They also state that they will be working with Nadeau-Dubois to see what possible recourse he may have, including supporting him in an appeal. Nadeau-Dubois has said he will react publicly tomorrow.
Nadeau-Dubois' statement to RDI that resulted in the accusation was the following:
"It is regretable that a small minority of students are using the courts to circumvent the collective decision that was taken. We therefore find it completely legitimate that people take the necessary measures to ensure the strike vote is respected. If that requires picket lines, we believe that'ss completely legitimate."
Nadeau-Dubois is one of 3,000 other people who face charges or were found guilty of crimes during the student strike, which lasted from February to early September. Since the tuition fee hike was rolled back by the Parti Québécois after their election on Sept. 4, l'ASSÉ and others have turned their attention to getting the charges against those 3,000 people dropped
, as well as calling for a public, independent inquiry
into police actions during the strike.
There are now calls
for "casseroles" demonstrations in support of Nadeau-Dubois and all other arrestees tonight at 8pm, to converge at Carré Émilie-Gamelin at 8:30pm. ASSÉ also published the following on their Facebook feed:
En cette journée sombre pour la démocratie, rappelons-nous que Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois fait partie d'un ensemble: celui des victimes de la judiciarisation inacceptable de la grève, qui aura vu des milliers et des milliers d'étudiant-e-s et de citoyen-ne-s arrêté-e-s... pour quoi? Pour avoir participé à des actions de perturbation économique, pour avoir refusé de reculer devant une ligne d'anti-émeutes, pour avoir enfreint le code 500.1 et le reste d'un appareil de répression légal, pour avoir défié, jour après jour, un système injuste.
Pour avoir, tout simplement, choisi la voie de la résistance.
Solidarité avec Gabriel et nos camarades.
UPDATE (6:00pm): An earlier version of this story said that Nadeau-Dubois could face up to $50,000 in fines. While he could be fined, the total would amount to only $5,000.