A Parade and a Protest


One thing I can tell you definitively about Montreal is that there has been, at least thus far, no shortage of protests and demonstrations lately. As with any metropolitan police force, the SPVM have the tools and equipment they need to keep the streets safe. The use of those tools and tactics such as kettling (boxing in protesters) has caused some of the population to hold an annual "Anti Police Brutality" protest to speak out against what they believe is violent police behavior.

When it was announced that the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality would hold another similar gathering after 1 person was arrested and just under 100 more were ticketed for protesting the weekend before, the police took notice. In prior years the Anti Police Brutality protest has resulted in over 200 arrests being made in a single day. Things can definitely spiral out of control.

A municipal bylaw in Montreal states that all protests must have a submitted protest route and the wearing of masks is strictly forbidden. Not only did the Collective not submit a route again this time, but they also planned to start their protest only one block away from the annual Montreal St. Patricks Day Parade, the longest-running of its kind in North America.

The police responded with an impressive show of force, and after an hour in the freezing weather and with a very small turnout of protesters, the gathering fizzled out. Roads were re-opened and the police went on to deal with other protests that would happen later that night.