Red Squares and Other Tactics: Revisiting the 2012 Quebec Student Protests


  • Rhon Teruelle


In the Spring of 2012, a successful youth-led struggle against the Quebec government’s proposed university tuition fee increase became commonly referred to as “Maple Spring.” The resulting social movement metamorphosed into a stand against neoliberalism, austerity measures, economic injustice, the criminalization of protest, and the corporatization of the university. Utilizing free-format semi-structured interviews, textual analysis, and rich media archives, this study explores four particular tactics used by the students during the protests, including their use of the symbol of the “red square.” The student strike became visible worldwide because of the students’ diverse and creative tactics. It was a resistance that captivated the imaginations of
many around the world.