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This article was published 22/5/2012 (2732 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
MONTREAL — A river of red-clad protesters rippled through downtown Montreal to mark the 100th day of Quebec's student strikes, while smaller events were held in other cities Tuesday.
Tens of thousands of people clogged Montreal's city core in a festive march designed to make a mockery of a new provincial law that demands protest routes be approved in advance.
Even a famous provincial politician, Independent MNA Pierre Curzi, joined the crowds that strayed off the announced path in a mass demonstration of defiance against the law. A prominent student organizer wandering in the throng went further, practically daring authorities to punish him.
Organizers said the crowd size rivalled the massive protests held the two previous months.
While polls in recent weeks suggested the striking students had lost considerable public support, they appeared to have been galvanized in recent days by the new Quebec law.
Parallel events were organized Tuesday in New York, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver, which saw only a tiny group of people show up to protest. In France, a few hundred congregated near Paris's famous Notre Dame Cathedral.
A stone's throw from the Seine River, people in Paris waved flags in a crowd that included many Quebecers, some of whom had brought their own signs, such as one that read: "Quebec is becoming a dictatorship."
The events came several days after the Quebec law set conditions on protests, with stiff financial penalties for transgressors — a move that has fanned the flames of the Quebec student movement.
"An increase in the powers of police and the state anywhere is an attack on us everywhere," said the release for the New York event.
Within Canada, organizers of the Calgary gathering described Quebec's law as draconian and encouraged people to meet in support of Quebec students.
There are other hints the student unrest could spread outside the province. The Canadian Federation of Students wants to call an Ontario-wide strike vote this fall in a show of solidarity with Quebec students.
"A campaign of mass educationals, solidarity delegations and mass mobilizations should be used to lead up towards a student strike in Ontario," the federation said in a recent letter.
Out-of-province money began flowing toward Quebec student activists amid signs their protest movement could persist into the summer.
Trade unions based outside Quebec have already confirmed depositing some $40,000 into the bank accounts of the province's largest student federations, cash that has helped pay for needs such as buses and food during demonstrations.
Unions in the rest of Canada, meanwhile, say their memberships will soon be asked to vote on new contributions for these student groups. Others are urging local union branches to consider making donations. The cash injection from outside the province represents a fraction of the monetary support that has been sent to student groups.
— The Canadian Press