Anger over Nazi salute at Canadian student protests

By Jennifer Lipman, June 13, 2012

Student protesters in Canada have been criticised for using the Nazi salute as part of their campaign against a controversial increase in university tuition fees.

Some protesters in Montreal have also decorated flyers attacking the police with swastikas while others have begun referring to the police as the SS.

The demonstrators, who have held a number of protests in recent weeks, have also been photographed raising their arms in the Nazi salute.

B'nai Brith Canada said it condemned "in the strongest terms" the use of Nazi slogans and gestures in this way.

Frank Dimant, its chief executive, described it as an "inexcusable display of hate by Quebec student protesters". He said it demonstrated "just how low the level of public debate has fallen".

He said: "The actions of these protesters, whether for the purposes of deriding Montreal police or drawing attention to their cause, defile the memory of the Holocaust and remind us just how quickly antisemitism and the manifestations of hate can venture their way into our public discourse."

Martine Desjardins, president of the Quebec Federation of Students, admitted: "We think it was an error in judgment that they used that sign."

Last updated: 2:43pm, June 13 2012