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UPDATED: Police adjourn anti-police brutality march

Police give two warnings to protesters before shutting down the protest

The sound of helicopters flying overhead were heard as a crowd of approximately 300 marched along Ontario street. A protest which began with unified chanting, escalated to protesters throwing flares and one cop car being damaged as the group reached Quartier des Spectacles.

Protest participant smashes windows of SPVM car. Photo by Alex Hutchins.

“No justice, no peace, fuck the police,” protesters shouted in unison, as they walked from Hochelaga towards Montreal’s downtown core. The march began at 7 p.m. at Place Simon-Valois and concluded two blocks east of Place des Arts.

The protest was organized by Collectif Opposé à la Brutalité Policière, a group founded in 1995 which opposes harassment, intimidation, arrest, violence and brutality-related conduct by police. They also provide support for victims of police brutality.

Many protesters dressed in all black. Photo by Alex Hutchins

As marchers walked along Ontario street, some protesters began to throw flares as they turned towards Ste-Catherine, however, police blocked the way. Near Union and Ste-Catherine, one participant in the crowd began to hit the windows of a police car parked on the street, smashing them—a few joined in. Police, however, did not intervene.

Police warned protesters twice before intervening. Photo by Alex Hutchins.

At approximately 9 p.m. protesters marched towards Place des Arts—some shot flares and some began to hit windows. Around the same time, police arrived on horse. The SPVM warned the crowd that some participants were initiating unlawful conduct and if it persisted, police would intervene and shut down the demonstration.

One protester began hitting the window of the H&M located at Ste-Alexandre and Ste-Catherine, but didn’t shatter the glass. Police gave a second warning to protesters, as a line of cops trailed behind the march.

“Tout le monde deteste de la police,” many protesters chanted in unison. Most of the crowd was enrobed in black.

Video by Frédéric Muckle.

Moments after, police on foot and on bikes began trooping in. As protesters approached Saint-Urbain, cops interfered after some did not comply to cease vandalism. Some were kettled near SPVM headquarters, but were released.

A blockade was made in front of the headquarters, for remaining participants along Ste-Catherine. As the SPVM moved through the crowd, this split the crowd of protesters in half—a few cops on horses remained as steady watchdogs.

“They tend to do whatever they please,” said protest participant Richard Beaulieau, referring to police illegally arresting and ticketing people.

Police follow protesters. Photo by Alex Hutchins.

Beaulieau recalled the time an SPVM officer hit him with a baton on March 5, 2013, as he was participating in Maple Spring protests against tuition hikes.

Although police had successfully broken up the crowd, some participants lingered. Many cops stood guard, with a small row of police on horse at the intersection of Saint-Urbain.

Watch our video footage of the protest below.

About Savanna Craig