The PQ had the Baptists, but where to find the Bootleggers?
The Liberals saw the PQ support for the students, and started to make noise about creating legislation to force them back to school and hinder their rights to protests on university grounds.
This was a massive mistake, as it allowed the PQ to find the perfect bootleggers they needed; the Quebec trade and labour unions.
After all, if the government can pass emergency legislation forcing students to go back to school and hinder their right to picket on university grounds, imagine the limits they can place on unions?
Outside of hockey, what could be causing such nice people to rebel for 115 consecutive days? In early February the ruling provincial Liberals (Ed note: the state government) put forth a plan to increase tuition fees by 5 per year for five years.
It banned protests anywhere in the province unless the police approved it beforehand. It allowed for sanctions on leaders of movements if their followers broke the law.
In addition, student leaders acknowledged receiving crash courses on negotiations from the presidents of the CSN and the FTQ (Quebec’s largest unions), who helped them explain how to create a favourable atmosphere to gain bargaining power during negotiations.
With the aid of the bootleggers, the numbers of protesters began to swell and swell.
The Bootleggers did not have to voice support the ban publicly, as the Baptists were already doing so.
So the Bootleggers supported the Baptists discreetly, by providing financial support, crowd support and other ‘silent’ help to their strange allies.