Over 200 arrested in annual Montreal police brutality clash

Nelson Wyatt, Canadian Press | March 15, 2013

[THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorzmontreal-BFbdJHvCMAAqjTtAt an anti-police brutality demonstration in Montreal on Friday March 15, 2013. Police used horses, pepper-spray and kettling tactics to clamp down Friday on an annual protest that has a history of “getting rowdy.”]

MONTREAL — Police wasted little time Friday cracking down on an annual protest that has a history of getting rowdy, deploying charging squads of helmeted officers, cops on horseback and pepper spray to corral demonstrators.

Montreal police, who have been dealing with regular protests since student unrest last year, usually let peaceful marches proceed even if they have been declared illegal under municipal bylaws.

On Friday, police massed platoons of officers around their downtown headquarters — which was the target of the annual rally against police brutality — and had made their first arrest before the march even began.

“We sent up a message right at the beginning,” said Cmdr. Ian Lafreniere of the Montreal police at a late evening news conference after the march. “They haven’t shared a route, they haven’t shared their itinerary, they refuse to give us a location where they were heading. That’s the reason we made a stop to that.” Continue reading

On Day 100 of student strikes, Montreal protest goes international

Several thousand people gather in Montreal on May 22, 2012 to protest against legislation setting rules for protests and promising stiff financial penalties for transgressors.

By Myles Dolphin, THE CANADIAN PRESS, Calgary Herald,  May 22, 2012

MONTREAL — A river of red-clad protesters is rippling through downtown Montreal on this, the 100th day of Quebec’s student strikes, with smaller events being held in other cities.

Parallel events are being held in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and New York. In Paris, a few hundred supporters, including many Quebecers, congregated near the famous Notre Dame Cathedral.

In New York City, two demonstrations were scheduled Tuesday: one at Rockefeller Plaza where Quebec government offices are located, and another at Washington Park in the evening.

Organized by the Occupy Wall Street movement and by the group Strike Everywhere, the first New York event was designed to raise awareness about the Quebec protests while the second was about opposing anti-protest laws all over the world.

The events came several days after the Quebec government introduced a law setting rules for protests and promising stiff financial penalties for transgressors — a move that appears to have fanned the flames of the Quebec student movement.

“An increase in the powers of police and the state anywhere is an attack on us everywhere,” said the release for the New York event.

Within Canada, organizers of the Calgary gathering described Quebec’s law as draconian, and encouraged people to meet in support of Quebec students.

There are other hints the student unrest could spread outside the province. The Canadian Federation of Students wants to call an Ontario-wide strike vote this fall in a show of solidarity with Quebec students. Continue reading