Times have changed for the legions of students who took part in the massive student uprising which held the city hostage throughout the spring. The noisy marches, violent demonstrations, acts of civil disobedience, pot and pan smashing, and class boycotts have at long last ended. The student movement may have achieved their goal of stopping the proposed tuition fee increase and playing a pivotal role in toppling Jean Charet’s government public but since that time interest and support for their cause and dream of free secondary education has definitely waned.
Montreal’s university students have now returned to their classes and things appear to be getting back to normal. Instead of marching in the streets while wielding placards and cooking pots students are now more concerned with mid terms, pub crawls, and football games.
Unfortunately in the case of former CLASSE spokes person Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois the legal ramifications of the student strike may linger for some time to come. CLASSE, which stands for the Coalition large de l’Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante, was perhaps the most militant of the groups at the forefront of the student strike. For months on end hardly a day went by when their spokesman, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, wasn’t featured on TV, quoted in the newspaper, or splashed all over the internet. Unfortunately for Nadeau-Dubois, however, all that media attention has come back to haunt him.
Recently Justice Denis Jacques of Quebec Superior Court found Nadeau-Dubois guilty of contempt of court for encouraging protesters to disobey court orders banning striking students from interfering with ongoing classes. The most damning piece of evidence used against the former CLASSE spokesman was in the form of an interview Nadeau-Dubois did with Radio-Canada on May 13th in which the student leader urges students to block access to CEGEPs and university classrooms. After this particular interview Jean-Francois Morasse, a student at the University of Laval, filed a complaint against the CLASSE spokesman.