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Arcade Fire Support Quebec Student Protests on Saturday Night Live, Join Likes of Michael Moore, Anonymous
- Posted on May 20th 2012 11:00AM by Aaron Brophy
Saturday Night Live
The Montreal-based band have clearly chosen a side in Quebec students' months-long fight with provincial government officials over tuition hikes and the province's new and very Big Brother law known as Bill 78 designed to snuff out protests. The red patches are one of the symbols of student resistance against these government measures.
The law, which has drawn criticism from civil rights advocates, prohibits protests of more than 50 people taking place without organizers checking in with police in advance, and threatens heavy fines against student leaders and student groups who organize protests. A related by-law just launched by the city prevents anyone at a protest from wearing a mask.
Predictably, free speech advocates besides Arcade Fire have been rallying to the students' cause.
"Canadians are in revolt in Quebec over new gov't law limiting democratic rights. No news of it in US press. Their uprising is inspiring ," filmmaker Michael Moore tweeted early Sunday morning.
Meanwhile, hacker collective Anonymous has also weighed in on the students' side.
"Goodbye Quebec. Hello Quebecistan," was tweeted from the "Civil & Human rights activist" account on May 18. Perhaps not coincidentally, websites for Quebec's governing Liberal Party as well as various government sites were offline for periods of time in recent days.
Support for the students has also reached as far as Cannes, France where Quebec filmmaker Xavier Dolan wore the symbolic red square on red carpet for the premiere of his film Laurence Anyways. The film's actors Nathalie Baye, Melvil Poupaud and Suzanne Clement also wore red patches.
Arcade Fire band members would come by their affinity for the student cause naturally. The band's husband-wife combo of Win Butler and Régine Chassagne met when they both attended Montreal area universities, McGill and Concordia, respectively.