Friday, March 16, 2012

Montreal protest turns violent 200 arrested

The anti-police brutality march is an annual event in Montreal and by tradition it is raucous. The organizers did not provide police with a map of the route of the march as many protest organizers do.

The event provides good grist for the media mills but does little to help the cause of many who have good grounds for complaining about police behavior in particular the many students who have been regularly protesting about student fee hikes.

Some protesters threw objects at police, looted some stores, and smashed two police cars. I have included a video of one of the cars being wrecked. Quite a few of the participants have their faces clearly visible. They may be arrested and charged I expect. The video headline talks of the Black Bloc anarchist group. As I understand it members of that group would cover themselves up to avoid being identified.

There was a crowd of about 1000 people and about 200 people were arrested. Ten officers were injured. The article does not say how many if any protesters were injured. The arrest numbers are down slightly from last year when 258 were taken into custody.

In an unusual move police actually invited media beforehand to headquarters to explain what their tactics would be to deal with the demonstration. Usually police are secretive about such matters in order not to alert protesters as to what is up.

The violent tactics and injured police officers will no doubt call more attention to protester violence than to police brutality. For more see this article.

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