MONTREAL (AP) — The Quebec government said Thursday it will resume talks with university student leaders after 85 people were arrested in riotous protests by thousands of people in Montreal over planned tuition hikes.
Windows of local businesses were smashed after talks broke off Wednesday between the provincial government and student groups over the planned tuition increase of $325 a year.
Several thousand students took to the streets after the government excluded the more militant of the student groups from the bargaining table, accusing CLASSE of promoting violence.
Banks and other businesses, cars and a police station had their windows shattered. Some protesters fought with police. Three police officers were injured.
The government said talks would resume Friday, but the other major student groups said they will not return to the bargaining table without CLASSE.
The student groups are expected to rally again Thursday afternoon.
Quebec Public Security Minister Robert Dutil accused Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, a spokesman for CLASSE, of fueling the fire by condoning violence.
"I think the CLASSE has a mode of operating that involves violence in the streets. We read it in their literature and it's extremely unfortunate," Dutil said.
The student coalition has said repeatedly it had nothing to do with violence in the weeks-long protests.
Education Minister Line Beauchamp is excluding any possibility of backtracking on plans to raise tuition by $325 a year over five years.