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Protestors peaceful despite police warnings

by Archives October 14, 2008

Over 600 people marched through Montreal North on Saturday, calling for a public inquiry into the death of Fredy Villanueva, and an end to racial profiling by the Montreal Police.
Villanueva, 18, was shot by police on Aug. 9. The protest also came exactly a week after the police shooting of Nashwan Abdullah, 18.
While police had predicted violence, issuing a warning to local businesses, the march, which organizers advertised as “child friendly,” remained peaceful.
“The police have to answer some questions because they said there was going to be a riot but nothing happened,” said Will Prosper, spokesperson for Montreal-Nord Republik, one of the groups who organized the march.
Instead the protest felt more like a block party with DJs and rappers performing throughout the march.
One of the rappers was Kervins Carrié, who performs under the name Master K. Carrié, 17, was a friend of Villaneueva and preformed a song he wrote after the shooting. “The shooting of Freddy . . . started a search for the truth,” said Carrié. “We have to get to the point where the police take everybody as equals, white or black, red or blue,” he said, referring to the red and blue colours of rival gangs.
Prosper said he thinks the protest would have been larger, were it not for the police warnings, “some people were afraid because the police used some scare tactics so that’s why they didn’t show up.”
Montreal Police deployed a massive number of officers to the area including the riot squad, paddy wagons and dozens of officers guarding police and fire stations – which had been targeted by rioters in the hours after the Villaneuva shooting.

While there was some tension as protesters walked between the lines of police officers outside the police and fire stations, police remained calm as individuals taunted them amidst the chants of “policiers assassins.”
“The fact that people say things to the police, or scream things at the police, is not illegal, it only shows that people have a lot of anger at them because of their abuse of people,” said Fran

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