Thousands take part in anti-austerity protest in Montreal

MONTREAL – Thousands of striking students marched through the streets of downtown Montreal Thursday.

Organizers believe it was largest student protest to date.

Students from various schools across the province voted to hold the one-day protest, including Vanier College, McGill law undergraduates and a few departments at Concordia University.

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Both Dawson and Champlain College students rejected the one-day strike out of fears it would lead to a longer walkout.

WATCH:  At least two English CEGEPS won’t be joining the massive strike Thursday. Elysia Bryan-Baynes explains.

The protest is primarily organized by the Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (ASSÉ), but various unions also showed their support , including the CSN.

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WATCH: Camille Ross speaks to ASSE spokesperson Camille Godbout.

Nearly 1200 teachers from UQAM joined the day of demonstrations, after failing to reach a collective bargaining agreement.

The crowd aimed to show mass opposition to Liberal austerity.

The protest remained relatively peaceful until police declared it illegal and attempted to break it up by firing tear gas.

GALLERY: Protesters take to the streets of Montreal 

Montreal police preparing themselves for one of the largest student protests. Karol Dahl / Global News
Protesters carrying balloons down the street on the corner of St-Denis and Sherbrooke. Billy Shields / Global News
Protesters on the Sherbrooke overpass just dumped balloons on the demonstration as it went down Berri. Billy Shields / Global News
Protesters crossing Peel and Ste-Catherine. Aalia Adam / Global News
Protesters heading east on Sherbrooke St . Billy Shields



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