Montreal: 447 arrests at anti-capitalist May Day demonstrations

Montreal police arrested 447 people last night during a May Day demonstration in Montreal organized by a group called the Anti-Capitalist Convergence, or CLAC.

Those arrested at the demonstration that coincided with International Workers’ Day were released over the course of the night and handed a $637 fine for unlawful assembly.

The noisy, colourful rally Wednesday was almost festive when it began early on the unseasonably warm evening.

Restaurant patrons watched from outdoor terraces as drummers, musicians and chanting, flag-waving demonstrators gathered in Place Jacques-Cartier.

However, police declared the gathering illegal shortly after it started under the controversial Montreal public order bylaw P-6. The bylaw makes it illegal to participate in an assembly with a face obscured by a scarf, hood or mask, and requires protesters to disclose to police in advance the location and itinerary of their demonstration.

Police said they issued a dispersal order, and also confirmed criminal acts, which consisted mainly of wielding sticks and throwing billiard balls at officers, were performed.

“It was getting dangerous for peace and safety and the public order,” said police Sgt. Jean-Bruno Latour.

Dozens of demonstrators tried to make their way to the march’s destination, a private club known by its street number, 357c.

Witnesses at Quebec’s inquiry into corruption in the construction industry have referred to the club in testimony as a meeting place for entrepreneurs, high-level bureaucrats and politicians to discuss business.

However, the demonstrators never reached the club.

Hundreds of police encircled the protesters at the intersection of de la Commune Street and St-Sulpice Street. They began herding — and in some cases, physically carrying — those detained into awaiting buses.

By 8 p.m., the police had wrapped up their operation.

The CLAC denounced the police intervention, saying they used disproportionate force against protesters.

Latour could not say if anyone would face criminal charges.

Montreal: Cops attack student protest

From Sabotage Media:

Thousands of students coming from all around Quebec took to the streets of downtown Montreal, shouting, because they know that the government likes to be hard of hearing (and yet to see is the day when we realizes it has no ears, it has financial analysts, public relations consultants, corporate sponsors, and loads of billy clubs, no ears), they shout that they wont stand still while the government once again tries to push its agenda of a Quebec for the rich and their guard dogs, and this time on the backs of students and especially the poor and ones from remote towns far from the postsecondary institutions with the massive increase in tuition fees it imposes upon the people.

They left the Chamber of Commerce of Montreal and blocked several streets downtown for a few hours before ending at 500, rue Sherbrooke O. known as the Loto-Québec building, location of (to be closer to their business model?) the offices of the Conference of Rectors and Principals of Quebec Universities, which a group of students was already occupying. Hundreds of young people stood outside the building in solidarity with their comrades while dancing with drums, chanting slogans and shortly the crackdown began. Police first tried to provoke and intimidate with an arrest, some dirty blows and pointing their weapons and then they deployed without warning a totally disproportionate and brutal force against young demonstrators who posed absolutely no threat to the hundred of heavily armed policemen on the scene. The video we received clearly demonstrates.

Continue reading

Montreal: Hundreds march against G20 repression

Protests in Montreal against repressionAs leaders met for the G20 meetings in Seoul, South Korea, about 400 people marched through downtown Montreal on Friday evening to demonstrate against the way Toronto police handled protesters at the G20 summit in June.

Many of those on hand were at the summit in Toronto during the summer, where protests were marked by mass arrests.

The march on Friday was largely non-violent, with one arrest made by police.

Organizers said they want a public inquiry into the way police handled protests at the summit in Toronto.

“Today’s demonstration is to stand in solidarity with those that continue to face bogus charges… this past June,” Sahita Ahouja told CTV Montreal.

“We also are taking the streets to denounce the strict bale conditions that people have to live under, and we’re also standing in solidarity with the people that are protesting in Seoul.”

Some Quebec protesters have argued that people from the province were targeted at the Toronto summit and arrested simply for speaking French or having fleur-de-lys license plates.
Continue reading

Montreal: Still another G20 arrest…

Solidarity With Juan Pablo Lepore

Anti-Capitalist Convergence

Juan Pablo Lepore, 28, was arrested on the morning of September 2 in Montreal, for participating in the G20 Summit in Toronto this June. Juan Pablo was transferred to Toronto the same night and appeared in court Friday morning. The crown has refused his release.

It’s stunning to refuse Juan a release on bail, because every day the Canadian legal system allows defendants their release before trial even though they are accused of more serious crimes than Juan. It’s clear that if you’re poor, and you can’t offer cash or assets as a guarantee, you don’t have the same rights,” said Marie-Ève Blais, one of the members of the “Friends of Juan Pablo Lepore” committee that has formed since his arrest.

The police is trying to convert this arrest into another trophy to justify the unprecedented inter-provincial police deployment before, during, and after the G20 meetings. Recall that during the appearance of many Quebecois arrestees in Toronto on August 23, the Crown produced a remarkable lack of evidence.
Continue reading