St. Paddy’s riot in London
Late Saturday night in London, Ontario, what started out as simple St. Patrick’s Day fun escalated into a dangerous and violent riot. The riot broke out in the Fanshawe enclave on Fleming Drive, where 82 student homes are found.
Around 1000 drunken partiers started and fed many street and vehicle fires for several hours, and resisted police intervention.
This St. Paddy’s Day disaster was “the worst case of civil disobedience that [London] has ever been subjected to,” according to Mayor Joe Fontana.
On top of destruction of the student enclave, 17 police vehicles suffered damage, and a CTV News van was toppled onto its side and set aflame, causing the fuel tank to explode.
Thankfully, no one was killed or seriously injured, though some minor injuries were sustained. An estimate of $100,000 has been placed for the cost of the damages of Saturday night’s events.
By 11 p.m., police had deemed the gathering on Fleming Drive “a case of illegal assembly.”
However, the situation was not easy to shut down; people were throwing bottles, bricks, wood planks, debris, tires, rims and other items at the police.
After establishing a perimeter, they were able to gain control of the situation and made 11 arrests by the end of the night, and a few more since then. Those arrested were charged with unlawful behavior, assaulting police, and resisting arrest.
Annual police brutality march in Montreal ends in riot
About 2,000 protestors turned up in downtown Montreal on March 15 for the annual anti-police brutality march.
The demonstration was organized by the Collectif Opposé à la Brutalité Policière (COBP) and was meant to be a peaceful march, though smaller groups of protestors took part in random acts of violence.
Some of the demonstrators wore red squares around their right eye, representing Francis Grenier, a CEGEP student whose right eye was injured last week by a flash grenade supposedly thrown by a police officer.
Objects were thrown through store windows and at police vehicles along Ste-Catherine Street. Most of the protestors disagreed with the vandalism and booed at those who partook.
Once the police became involved the area was blocked off with lines of policemen, cars and ambulances.
Between 100 and 150 people were arrested and bussed to a detention centre, though there was no resistance from the demonstrators according to the police.
University of Ottawa student support service employs therapy dog
The University of Ottawa’s Student Academic Success Service (SASS) recently hired a new employee, Tundra, a fully certified therapy dog.
Tundra was employed with the intention of reducing stress among students on campus, and belongs to Audrey Gilles, a professor in the faculty of health sciences.
Gilles rescued the dog during her last year of graduate school and says “she is evidence that you can teach an old dog new tricks, and rescues can make fantastic dogs, too.” Tundra has special office hours for students to play with her and get their mind off academic stress.
According to the director of SASS, there were only a few students were present at her first office-hours, though around 40 students showed up to her most recent meeting.
Tundra is certified by Therapeutic Paws of Canada, and has been volunteering at a retirement home for three years before beginning to cheer up students.
Students threatened with arrest for leafleting in UBC building
A small protest against military presence in Libya at a job fair at UBC received a negative response for simply passing out leaflets.
The small group of around six students was told they would be arrested if they continued protesting near the Canadian Forces booth.
“I feel like our perspective is really being actively silenced by security.” According to a security guard, it was not about the cause, but about “the policies right now,” Arielle Friedman, one of the protesting students, said.
The students were told by security that they would have to leave the building in order to hand out the leaflets.
— With files from Western Gazette, McGill Daily, the Fulcrum, and the Ubyssey.