Rubber Bullets, Tear Gas & Mass Arrests at Montreal Students March

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Photo Evegenia Choros

Photo Evegenia Choros

Montreal – Thousands of students protesting against the provincial government’s austerity plan took to the streets of Montreal again on Tuesday. Several thousand students marched against Austerity on Sunday marking the beginning (a ramping up) of actions among student groups, culminating with a Strike on April 2nd.  #Spring2015

As the march made it’s way on Tuesday evening police made several attempts to disperse the protest. They used the tactics of charging at the group in an attempt to split-up the march, while making several violent arbitrary arrests of those who were caught on the fringes of the group to effect morale. The Link reported:

Four people were arrested early on, according to the Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal: two for armed assault and another two for assault. Violent clashes with police occurred at Rene Levesque Blvd. and Sanguinet St., as well as Drummond St. and Sherbrooke St. W. Two protesters were treated for non-life-threatening injuries, according to the SPVM, and one officer was injured. The streets of downtown Montreal were lit up by firecrackers, sparklers, and a boombox playing Rage Against the Machine and old-school Genesis, where over a few thousand protesters marched and occasionally sprinted while denouncing austerity. A standoff between police and protesters occurred at the corner of Drummond St. and Maisonneuve Blvd. around 10:40 p.m. Protesters launched objects including a construction cone at officers. Police responded by trying to disperse the crowd with tear gas and pepper spray. In addition to tear gas and pepper spray, the police also shot rubber bullets at the crowd, which grazed a protester in the head.

Nora Loreto of Rabble reports the events as they happened to her outside of her residence, when the police finally kettled in a group of around 100 people. Police had already used baton charges, tear gas, pepper spray and barrages of rubber bullets to try and disperse the students.

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