I. STUDENT STRIKE
about 250,000 cégep and university students across quebec are on strike right now to protest $103 million in student bursaries. on wednesday, there was a large march in montreal that attracted anywhere from 30,000 to 100,000 students (the former being the police's unofficial estimate, the latter being the organizers' estimate).
we start at the corner of park and sherbrooke, where the police have closed the street. the march had started earlier in the east end and was now culminating in front of premier jean charest's montreal office on sherbrooke street, also, coincidentally, in front of mcgill's front gates (mcgill was not a part of the stike on wednesday, but it did vote that afternoon to hold a one-day strike last friday and might hold another one-day strike on this coming thursday).
i didn't notice too many nazis among the student activists, so i think this guy's just looking for a party to crash.
student reporter putting on the charm...
after picking up some books from the library, i headed down peel street to catch the bus home.
III. SATURDAY AFTERNOON
up in the petite patrie/little italy area.
IV. SUNDAY: PEOPLE AND POSTERS
today was warm, sunny and very spring-like, so i wandered down to the plateau.
corner of mont-royal and st-denis.
maybe it was just me, but the gender ratio on st-denis this afternoon seemed totally skewed.
i found a snappy new pin-striped grey blazer on bernard street.
kahnawake is a mohawk (iroquois) territory in the south shore suburbs of montreal, located about 20 minutes by car from downtown (in no traffic) across the mercier bridge. with a mohawk-language school and a cultural centre that includes a library and a one-year intensive mohawk immersion course, kahnawake is a beacon of mohawk culture.
i was there for one of my university courses and i was quite surprised with what i found. the territory consists of a rapidly-growning town of about 8,000 people. since there's no zoning, it's totally haphazard, with an incomprehensible street system and -- get this -- no street names. most montrealers come here to shop (there's no tax), but there's unfortunately a bit of stigma surrounding it, probably stemming from the 1990 oka standoff on the nearby kanesatake reserve and negative news stories about a local political controversy.
what's most interesting is the old part of town, along the st. lawrence, which dates back to the french regime. there are some narrow streets lined by 18th century stone cottages and one of the oldest churches in the montreal area, which includes a shrine to kateri (catherine) tekakwitha, whom you'll know if you've ever read leonard cohen's fantastic beautiful losers. unfortunately, the territory has no conservation laws, which means some owners have even torn down some of the town's oldest buildings or bastardized them with vinyl siding. my guide told me there's a movement to establish a historic district and restore the old town.
after that long introduction, these photos are a pretty ****ty offering. i only had a few hours in town, most of which were spent listening to a lecture at the cultural centre, so this is all you get. i definitely encourage montrealers to check this place out, though.