Victoriaville Student Protest - An Interactive Timeline
1 - (6:15 p.m.) Approximately 1,000 protesters leave the parking lot of the local Wal Mart and walk to the main entrance of the Victorin hotel and conference centre. They are met by waist-high barricades and a row of Sûreté du Québec officers in regular uniform.
2 - The SQ riot squad is deployed. Projectiles are launched at police. The crowd shakes, then breaks through the barriers and advances to within five metres of the doors.
3 - Police issue a verbal warning, which many in the crowd say they didn’t hear, then release a round of smoke grenades. The crowd retreats. Four to five minutes later, the first tear gas canisters are deployed. The crowd scatters but many are disoriented.
4 - Protesters regroup in fields across the street from the hotel. The police line re-forms along the roadway. More tear gas is released, and the first injured protesters are spotted in the crowd. Many are overcome by the gas.
5 - Police continue to deploy tear gas. The crowd is forced out of the fields and pushed about 300 metres from the conference centre. Rubber bullets are fired. Ambulances begin arriving on the scene.
6 - More than 200 protesters break off from the larger crowd and make their way to a gravel lot behind the hotel. A second standoff begins. Police are pelted with rocks and other debris, and respond with tear gas and rubber bullets. Several police vehicles are vandalized. More injuries are reported. Meanwhile, police continue to push the larger crowd back along the main roadway.
7 - (8:45 p.m.) The sun has set. Police lines force all of the protesters back onto the main roadway. Using tear gas and rubber bullets, they push them back to the Wal Mart parking lot where the protest began. At this point, four people have been arrested. (Less than an hour after leaving Victoriaville, three buses filled with protesters are stopped by the SQ and everyone on board arrested and detained overnight.)
Graphic: Jeanine Lee, The Gazette