MONTREAL — A division has emerged at the student protest marches being held nightly in Montreal, with a peaceful majority denouncing a smaller group intent on committing acts of vandalism.No kidding.
Scenes from the rowdy marches are stamping out the notion of Quebec's student movement as some monolith, united around identical ideals and leaders. Goals and tactics differ widely, a fact made evident in weekend confrontations over vandalism.
In recent days, the pacifists have made it known the vandals aren't welcome -- through pronouncements on social media, verbal chastising during the marches, and sometimes even by force.
"They take us hostage for their own little fun of breaking stuff," said Guillaume Lefebvre, a regular participant in the evening rallies and a geography student at a Montreal college.
He blames the violence and smashed windows on a small number of radical protesters, who have prompted what he calls an excessively aggressive reaction from police.
"The city is so big.. go somewhere else and do your own protest," Lefebvre said of the vandals.
It was clear from the chatter inside recent protests that the Quebec events now encompass a movement broader than just opposition to $325-a-year tuition hikes.
Silly pacifists. Don't they know that once you cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war it's awfully hard to, well, pacify them and get them to go back in their kennels?