A demonstration in solidarity with four UQAM students summoned before a disciplinary committee has kept in suspense about twenty policemen all afternoon yesterday at downtown Montreal and ended with the arrest of two demonstrators .
Two students were summoned yesterday and two more are to follow today. Hearings are held at the Hotel Gouverneur Place Dupuis.
In a letter sent to the direction of UQAM it a few days ago, 14 professors of legal sciences department denounced the proceedings they consider “unfair and unworthy of an institution such as ours.”
Among the abuses they identify are among others the right to know the evidence against itself in advance against the right to examine witnesses, the right to be represented by counsel and the right to to trial within a reasonable time.
One of the young summoned yesterday, Sébastien Cheatly, a sociology student, said he received the letter from UQAM it a week ago. Mr. Cheatly reported that the recommendation of his lawyer, he did not say more.
For his part, the spokesman of UQAM, Caroline Tessier, argued instead that the invitations were made in every respect for the law. Have the students the right to have a lawyer? To this question, Ms. Tessier referred us to Regulation 6 of UQAM, which itself simply states that students summoned before the disciplinary committee have the right “to be accompanied by a student, a student normally from its program unit “.
On the issue of delay between the alleged actions and appearance before the disciplinary committee, Ms. Tessier argued that the investigation had been extended to perform and in addition, the entire disciplinary process had been reviewed.
If the event was held in the calm at the beginning, some students and hotel keepers were garlanded and quickly came to blows before the police intervene. Tensions escalated when the hotel staff believed that a giant was going from room to room was a protester who had managed to enter. The man, surprised, knew nothing of the event which was held outside and seemed to get food.
The police had to escort him inside the hotel one of the students called before the disciplinary committee. The student came out a few minutes later his hearing was postponed for reasons that were not given.
The events in question date back to spring 2015, when students and police clashed for days and that UQAM has been the subject of several acts of vandalism.