Friday, April 08, 2005

Montreal, Canada - At least 100 students occupied the Montreal Stock Exchange yesterday preventing workers from entering the building. Riot police were able to break through the barricades after three hours and oust them from the building. Only one student was arrested but others suffered cuts and bruises at the hands of the police. The demonstration later moved to the street. Well over 150,000 students went on strike in February after their school grants were converted to loans. On Monday the government offered to reinstate $40 million of the original $103 million with the full amount returned after two years. Most of the students were content with the offer and returned to classes, but about 70,000 are still on strike. They have interrupted activity at the Port of Montreal, taken over an office building in downtown Montreal, and demonstrated in front of the National Assembly in Quebec City. Today police claimed they surrounded another demonstration of 60 students armed with sticks, metal wires, and shields after they defaced a Wal-mart store.