MONTREAL – Quebec’s student protest got the rock star treatment Friday night â€” literally.
Rap group Loco Locass invited student leaders onto the stage for the closing song at their show at Montreal’s Francofolies Festival, where they sang the satirical “Free Us From the Liberals.”
Taking part in the singalong were the spokespeople for the main student groups, including Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, spokesman for the militant CLASSE group, Martine Desjardins, who leads the association of Quebec university students and Leo Bureau-Blouin, the former head of the college students’ association.
Shortly before the song, the group, which was all dressed in the red colours of the student protest movement, asked the crowd of 80,000 to observe a moment of silence to mark “the end of the Liberal regime.”
There were plenty of political slogans tossed around during the band’s show, which also took aim at the controversial Bill 78, which sets rules for gatherings of more than 50 people, requiring organizers to provide eights hours’ notice of the itinerary and length of the event.
“We are more than 50,” the trio chanted with the crowd at one point, in reference to the law’s setting of the number of people constituting a demonstration as 50.
The band had invited protesters to their show beforehand and many showed up banging pots and pans, which has become a rallying cry for the demonstrators in recent weeks.
And Loco Locass didn’t want the evening to end with their last song. They encouraged people to join the nightly protest march which has trudged through Montreal’s streets for the last 56 nights.
Two groups began marching through city streets and police declared the marches illegal but said they could continue as long as they remained peaceful.
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version wrongly suggested that Bill 78 limits the size of protests