MONTREAL — Police gave protesters at the annual demonstration against police brutality just minutes before the riot squad encircled the crowd and detained 288 people on Saturday.
Lines of riot police blocked the streets around the protest at Jean-Talon St. and Chateaubriand Ave., funnelling protesters to the south down Chateaubriand, where they were immediately encircled.
— Elizabeth Laplante (@ElizLaplanteTVA) March 15, 2014
The protesters were charged under municipal bylaw P-6, which requires organizers of a protest to provide their itinerary to police. Two people suffered minor injuries during the police intervention, police spokesperson Ian Lafrenière said. The protest began under a heavy police presence, including cavalry, a helicopter and dozens of riot police from the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal and the Sûreté du Québec. “It was a veritable army of police … who occupied the area surrounding the Jean-Talon métro when the protest was to start,” the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality, which organizes the annual protest, said in a written statement issued after the protest.
— TVA nouvelles (@tvanouvelles) March 15, 2014
The COBP organized this year’s march to protest what it called “social cleansing” of homeless and marginalized citizens by police.
“The COBP denounces the fact that the SPVM has yet again demonstrated that it is incapable of tolerating protests against its brutality and police impunity,” the organization said.