“Montreal en francais! Le Québec en français!” the crowd chanted.
One of the organizers of the rally, Jules Gagné of the St-Jean Baptiste Society, said he appreciates that English-speaking Montrealers have their own institutions, but fears French will disappear if it isn’t better protected.
“They should, in the general public, be favourable to French and speak French,” Gagné said.
His organization, along with le Mouvement Québec Français and several union federations make up Partners for a French Quebec, a group angling to promote and improve Bill 101.
They are calling for Quebec’s public institutions to be unilingually French.
A dozen protesters wielding Canadian flags also attended the gathering, among them Antoinette Mercurio.
“They’re trying to push English out of the way and I think that’s wrong, so I’m here protecting my language, my heritage,” she said.