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CHICAGO (CBS) – A dozen protesters were arrested Wednesday evening, during a protest march through downtown Chicago, as part of a show of solidarity with a student strike in Quebec.
Dozens of demonstrators, many with Occupy Chicago, started out at the intersection of State and Harrison Streets, then made their way north to the Canadian Consulate, located at the Prudential Building, then up Michigan Avenue to Ontario Street.
At Michigan and Ontario Street, several protesters tried to move into the street, but police pushed them back onto the sidewalk.
At least one person was arrested in the middle of the intersection of Michigan and Ontario, as cars tried to pass.
As more police officers arrived, they continued to push protesters out of the street, back onto the sidewalk. Protesters continued to bang on pots and pans throughout the ordeal.
Police said 12 of the protesters were arrested.
Several protesters said police went to far.
“They were overly aggressive, I thought, and certainly after the intersection had cleared, we were on the sidewalk, the situation calmed, and I was baffled why they came onto the sidewalk again later, and grabbed more people just out of the crowd, seemingly for no reason,” Daniel Goering said.
The demonstrators were protesting a significant tuition increase in Quebec, which has resulted in weeks of student protests, and a student strike at more than a dozen Quebec colleges and universities dating back to February.
Several protesters complained about the arrests on Twitter, alleging police beat demonstrators with batons and shoved them to the ground.
Those who were arrested were taken to the Central District police station at 18th and State streets, where Occupy Chicago activists planned to stage a rally to support the arrested protesters. Charges were pending Wednesday night.