NEWS

Rosemont CEGEP cancels classes

05/14/2012 09:13 EDT | Updated 07/14/2012 05:12 EDT

A CEGEP in Montreal's Rosemont neighbourhood has cancelled its plans to resume some classes today after demonstrators flooded the campus.

Student leaders came out just before 8 a.m. and said the administration had decided to close the school over safety concerns.

Witnesses described a clash between demonstrators and police as officers tried to make their way into the school.

One person was treated for a minor head injury and a reaction to a chemical irritant, according to Urgences Santé.

Administrators at the CEGEP said they wanted to reopen the school as a last attempt to try and save the semester.

Patricia Hanigan, general director of Collège de Rosemont, said the move was not meant as a provocative act, but an “educative decision.”

“We want to say to our students that we are ready to see them and we will be happy to give them classes,” she said.

Several students have obtained court injunctions to return to class at Rosemont.

Philippe Beaudoin-Martin, head of the school's student association, said the conflict has not been settled and the demonstrations will continue.

"But we understand the decision of the administration [to open the school] because they are stuck in a sandwich between the government and the decision of the students," he said.

"They did what they could and I think it [proves] to the government that there is no solution. They have to get back to negotiation with the students."

On Monday morning, a large group of students held a loud demonstration outside the school while police watched from a line formed nearby.

According to witnesses, police intervened after demonstrators blocked officers from entering the school to talk to the administration.

The leader of Quebec's college student federation, Léo Bureau-Blouin,was on scene, he said, to ensure things remained peaceful.

"I did a tour of the doors of the college to make sure the students were going to respect the injunctions," he said before the administration decided to cancel classes. "At Rosemont, it has always been clear that the students with the injunctions have the right to enter in school."

After the school was closed for the day, the group of protesters dispersed with some travelling down Beaubien Street.

More than 3,500 students at the school have been on strike since the beginning of March.

The majority voted against the agreement in principle brokered by student leaders and the government last week.

MORE:cbcNews