NEWS

Student protest ends in front of Loto-Québec

03/27/2012 09:56 EDT | Updated 05/27/2012 05:12 EDT

Students have ended another day of protests against tuition fee hikes, spending hours circling downtown Montreal and dispersing after a final demonstration in front of the headquarters of Loto-Québec.

Tuesday began with dozens of students blocking the entrance to Quebec's liquor board headquarters in Montreal. Police used pepper spray and tear gas to disperse them, and one protester was arrested and could face a charge of assaulting a peace officer.

Between 200 and 300 protesters carried on their demonstration through the streets of downtown Montreal, marching past McGill University and carrying on to Concordia University. They briefly entered the Hall building of Concordia's downtown campus before continuing north to Sherbrooke Street and then circling back down Crescent Street.

Other gatherings were to take place in Laval, Sherbrooke, Saint-Hyacinthe, Jonquière, Val-d'Or and Quebec City.

Tuesday's protests were spearheaded by Quebec's Federation of College Students (FECQ) and Quebec's Federation of University Students (FEUQ).

Both groups have been instrumental in building momentum among an estimated 120,000 students who have joined the anti-tuition hike movement in recent weeks.

Student groups have promised to intensify their protest efforts.

Earlier this week they vowed to target "slim-margin" Liberal MNAs, who were narrowly elected in the last provincial election.

Premier Jean Charest reiterated once again on Tuesday's his government's refusal to back down on the question of the tuition fee hike.

"We would dearly like to say yes to all those who would like us to spend more taxpayers' money," he remarked at a news conference to announce new financing for a river walkway in Quebec City. "In the end, though, we have to make decisions in the broader interest of Quebec — which we do."

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