Quebec student leader unfairly cited as ‘the responsible’
Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, CLASSE spokesman, pleaded not guilty when he appeared in court, 29 May 2012, in Quebec’s city courtroom. The ongoing drama has made the student leader something of an international hero to his fellows but clearly he’s a stone-in-the-shoe for the authorities, and for those students who want to to along with system as is.
This young spokesman for one of Quebec’s largest student federations was charged with contempt of court. That charge stemming from a complaint by one Jean-Francois Morasse, a student in Visual Arts from Laval University, who alleged Nadeau-Dubois encouraged students to ignore a court injunction that paved the way for Morasse to return to class at Universite Laval in Quebec City.
The contempt-of-court case honed in on remarks Nadeau-Dubois made on television on May 13. At the time, Nadeau-Dubois told his interviewers that it was legitimate for protesters to form picket lines to keep students who had obtained injunctions from getting to their classrooms.
Nadeau-Dubois is one of the spokesmen for the CLASSE student group — the most radical of the province’s three main student associations.
Paul Journet, reporting for *La Press*, has it that Nadeau-Dubois had criticized certain remarks expressed in public in April, saying: *”I think it is perfectly legitimate for students to take steps to respect the democratic choice that was made to go on strike. It is very unfortunate that there is a minority who use the courts to circumvent the collective decision that was taken. We think it’s perfectly legitimate for people to take the necessary steps to enforce the strike vote. And if it takes picket lines, we believe that is totally legitimate.”*
For this statement, the minimum penalty would be community service or a fine of “several thousand dollars,” according to Mr. Martel Maxime Roy, counsel for Mr. Morasse. But the prosecution wants a more severe penalty as there was a public element that has encouraged people to violate the court order.
On the one hand there are students wanting to go along with the system and that’s their right; on the other hand there are students struggling for their right to an affordable education. The issue has been highly publicised and that’s to the good, however, the law is the law so the student body waits to see how their new hero will fare, not to mention the presumed ‘anti-hero’!