Register Tuesday | December 18 | 2018
Letter From Montreal: The Striking Life

Letter From Montreal: The Striking Life

I can’t explain to my daughter that, during peaceful demonstrations like today’s, I’ve been pepper-sprayed and beaten with batons.

Illustration by Michel Hellman.

It is July 22, and my daughter and I are marching through Montreal in protest of Quebec’s planned university tuition hike. Together with a hundred thousand others, we walk from the Grande Bibliothèque to Concordia University, up to Sherbrooke, past McGill, and then back home to the Plateau.

Along the way, she and I talk about what brought these people into the streets to march beside us, about what it means—as a student, as a citizen—to be on strike. I tell her that if leaders refuse to address an issue that many people feel is important, then those people call for a halt to all other pursuits until the leaders address the issue.

But I can’t explain to my daughter that, over the last few months, during peaceful demonstrations like today’s, I’ve been pepper-sprayed and beaten with batons; that ...

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