11/03/2012 01:00 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Toronto group raises funds for Quebec student leader involved in legal battle

TORONTO - An Ontario group held a fundraising rally Saturday to support a prominent Quebec student leader who was found in contempt of court.

Organizers of the Toronto protest said the court's decision is an attack on free speech and sets a dangerous precedent for other social movements in Canada.

The case involves Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, who became a household name in Quebec during the protests over tuition fees last spring.

A judge ruled that Nadeau-Dubois encouraged students to ignore a Quebec City court injunction while he was doing a television interview in May.

His lawyer pleaded ignorance and argued there was no evidence Nadeau-Dubois was aware of the injunction, but a Quebec Superior Court justice rejected the argument.

One of the protest organizers said the ruling was worrisome.

"It's clear to us that this affects not only Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, but also spokespeople for future movements," said Xavier Lafrance, a student at York University.

"If we cannot state our (case) publicly... that's a real limitation to our basic civil rights."

Nadeau-Dubois has said he doesn't have the money to finance a legal battle and has asked for financial help.