Canadian students strip down to red squares in new protest technique

By Muriel Kane
Friday, June 8, 2012 22:22 EDT
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Canadian students strip screencap
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Notice: A few brief shots in the embedded video, as well as several of the photos at the linked Russia Today story, should be considered NSFW.

In the latest innovative protest technique to come out of Montreal, thousands of students marched on Thursday wearing only their underwear, bathing suits, or strategically placed red squares to protest planned tuition hikes.

According to Russia Today, “Protesters told reporters they were naked for a number of reasons: to show the government they have been transparent in their demands to freeze tuition fees, to garner more media attention to their cause, and to discourage police from handling them roughly.”

One specific objective of the march was to embarrass the city while it hosted the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix, and in this it was clearly successful. “When we attack the Grand Prix, it’s not the Quebec government that people are assaulting,” Quebec Premier Jean Charest complained. “It’s all Quebecers.”

The marchers were less successful, however, in discouraging rough treatment from the police, who arrested 39 people and used tear gas, pepper spray, and batons in an attempt to break up the crowd. A police spokesperson said most of the arrests were made “because police had reason to believe they were preparing to commit crimes and damage property.”

This video was uploaded by Russia Today to YouTube, June 8, 2012.

Muriel Kane
Muriel Kane
Muriel Kane is an associate editor at Raw Story. She joined Raw Story as a researcher in 2005, with a particular focus on the Jack Abramoff affair and other Bush administration scandals. She worked extensively with former investigative news managing editor Larisa Alexandrovna, with whom she has co-written numerous articles in addition to her own work. Prior to her association with Raw Story, she spent many years as an independent researcher and writer with a particular focus on history, literature, and contemporary social and political attitudes. Follow her on Twitter at @Muriel_Kane
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