Quebec Student Underwear Protests: Anti-Tuition Hike Fight Gets Bare (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

CP  |  By Posted: 05/03/2012 6:49 pm Updated: 05/04/2012 9:12 pm

MONTREAL — Some Quebec students were baring it all – or close to it – in their anti-tuition fight.

A few took to the streets of Montreal wearing nothing but their underwear Thursday night in the latest protest against fee hikes.

One Facebook group cited several reasons for the unique protest. They included: catching the government's attention; the mayor not wanting protesters to wear masks; distracting police officers; and also because it's spring, they said.

However, with a low of 14°C, it wasn't exactly balmy spring weather in Montreal.

IN PHOTOS (Story Continues Under Slideshow)

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  • Quebec Underwear Protest May 3

    Scores of Quebec students were baring it all -- or close to it -- for the cause of cheap tuition. A few took to the streets of Montreal wearing nothing but their underwear May 3, 2012, in the latest protest against fee hikes. (Photo Paul Chiasson, La Presse Canadienne)

  • Quebec Underwear Protest May 3

    One Facebook group cited several reasons for the unique protest. They included: catching the government's attention; the mayor not wanting protesters to wear masks; distracting police officers; and also because it's spring, they said. (Photo by Paul Chiasson, The Canadian Press)

  • Quebec Underwear Protest May 3

    However, with a low of 14°C, it wasn't exactly balmy spring weather in Montreal. (Photo by Paul Chiasson, The Canadian Press)

  • Quebec Underwear Protest May 3

    Protest organizers asked students to arrive at a downtown park fully clothed but carrying backpacks. From there, they planned to disrobe and march across the Plateau neighbourhood. (Photo by Paul Chiasson, The Canadian Press)

  • Quebec Underwear Protest May 3

    They encouraged students to carry signs and wear body paint, but insisted that full-frontal nudity would "NOT be tolerated." (Photo by Paul Chiasson, The Canadian Press)

  • Quebec Underwear Protest May 3

    Public nakedness is illegal - something the Montreal police force felt compelled to warn people on its Twitter feed. (Photo by Paul Chiasson, The Canadian Press)

  • Quebec Underwear Protest May 3

    "It is forbidden to walk naked in the streets of Montreal, given Article 174 of the Criminal Code," the police tweet said. (Photo by Paul Chiasson, The Canadian Press)

  • Quebec Underwear Protest May 3

    Meanwhile, the student protesters didn't just lose clothes Thursday. They also lost a few supporters. (Photo by Paul Chiasson, The Canadian Press)

  • Quebec Underwear Protest May 3

    Students at CEGEP de Sherbrooke voted narrowly to end their nine-week strike. There are still 150,000 striking students - which still represents nearly one-third of Quebec post-secondary students but is significantly less than at the height of the classroom walkouts. (Photo by Paul Chiasson, The Canadian Press)

  • Quebec Underwear Protest May 3

    That said, the protest leaders are sticking to their belief that the Charest government must scrap fee hikes. The government has shown no inclination of doing so. (Photo by Paul Chiasson, The Canadian Press)

  • Quebec Underwear Protest May 3

    There are now fears that the current semester might have to be cancelled. (Photo by Paul Chiasson, The Canadian Press)

Protest organizers asked students to arrive at a downtown park fully clothed but carrying backpacks. From there, they planned to disrobe and march across the Plateau neighbourhood.

They encouraged students to carry signs and wear body paint, but insisted that full-frontal nudity would “NOT be tolerated.”

Public nakedness is illegal – something the Montreal police force felt compelled to warn people on its Twitter feed.

“It is forbidden to walk naked in the streets of Montreal, given Article 174 of the Criminal Code,” the police tweet said.

Meanwhile, the student protesters didn't just lose clothes Thursday. They also lost a few supporters.

Students at CEGEP de Sherbrooke voted narrowly to end their nine-week strike. There are still 150,000 striking students – which still represents nearly one-third of Quebec post-secondary students but is significantly less than at the height of the classroom walkouts.

That said, the protest leaders are sticking to their belief that the Charest government must scrap fee hikes. The government has shown no inclination of doing so.

There are now fears that the current semester might have to be cancelled.

Related on HuffPost:

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  • Quebec Students' Nearly Nude Protest, May 3, 2012

  • Quebec Students' Nearly Nude Protest, May 3, 2012

  • Quebec Students' Nearly Nude Protest, May 3, 2012

  • Quebec Students' Nearly Nude Protest, May 3, 2012

  • Quebec Students' Nearly Nude Protest, May 3, 2012

  • Quebec Students' Nearly Nude Protest, May 3, 2012

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Filed by Christian Cotroneo  |