Thursday, May 05, 2011

Cops break up May Day march in Montreal

6 arrested as anti-capitalist demonstration turns rowdy

May 2, 2011 Montreal Gazette

MONTREAL - Police broke up an anti-capitalist May Day march on Sunday
after sporadic acts of violence and fears it was about to deteriorate.

A mix of communists, anarchists, Trotskyists, skinheads and members of
other left-wing groups, estimated by Montreal police to number 700 to 800
people, began demonstrating peacefully shortly before 4 p.m. at Émilie
Gamelin Park at Berri and Ste. Catherine Sts.

Six people were arrested for minor infractions, and seven police officers
suffered minor injuries, Monteal police Constable Raphael Bergeron

The march was stopped because it was "no longer peaceful," and among
objects seized were a metal bar and a Molotov cocktail, he said.

It followed an earlier demonstration in Plateau Mont Royal, supported by
Quebec's big labour federations, that attracted 400 participants,
including Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe.

Mathieu Francoeur, a spokesperson for Convergeces des luttes
anticaptitalistes Montréal, contrasted the two demonstrations, saying the
labour movement's goal is to reform the laws governing society, while the
afternoon march was "an invitation to rebel against capitalism and

One man wore a T-shirt saying, "I hate everything you love," and the
biggest group were red-flag-waving members of the Maoist Parti communiste

Before the march began, police Commander Alain Simoneau announced via a
loudspeaker that demonstrators would be allowed to proceed as long as they
followed the direction of traffic and were peaceful. If there were any
infractions, "We will put an end to the demonstration," he said.

That is exactly what police did. About 4:10 p.m., someone ignited a flare
and tossed it toward police at St. Urbain and Sherbrooke Sts.

Marchers' ranks began to thin out as demonstrators headed west on
Sherbrooke St. At 4:58 p.m., the police tactical squad began tapping
nightsticks against their shields, a signal they were moving in to stop
the march.

The demonstration was to end at the Ste. Catherine St. W. campaign offices
of Westmount-Ville Marie Conservative candidate Neil Drabkin.

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