Video: Street Politics 101: The Story Behind The ‘Maple Spring’

Above: MONTREAL, QUEBEC: The students march along Sherbrooke St to demonstrate against pending tuition increases in Montreal, on Thursday, March 22, 2012.  (Dave Sidaway / THE GAZETTE).

An energetic documentary by Franklin Lopez recounts the story of the spectacular student movement that rocked the streets of Montreal early last year.

In the spring of 2012, a massive student strike in opposition to a tuition hike rocked the streets of Montreal for over six months. Protests and militant street actions became part of the daily and nightly reality of this Canadian metropolis. Several times during this tumultuous spring, the numbers in the streets would reach over one hundred thousand. Police routinely clubbed students and their allies, and arrested them by the hundreds. Some were even banned from entering the city. But every time the cops struck, the student movement got bigger and angrier.Quebec protest

This is a story about how the arrogance of a government underestimated a dedicated group of students, who through long-term organizing laid the foundation for some of the largest mass demonstrations in Canada’s history. But it’s also a story of how a crew of determined anarchists educated a new generation of students on the importance of owning the streets. In Street Politics features some of the best footage from what has been referred to as “the maple spring”. The documentary also features interviews with students, teachers and anarchists involved in one of the most militant rebellions in Québec.

Directed by Franklin Lopez. Music by MIA, Cairo, CJ Boyd, Di Nigunim, Jordan Brown, Mise En Demeure, Godspeed You Black Emperor, Joy Division, Lee Reed, FreqMan, Bar 9