Protesters gather in Montreal for annual march against police brutality

MONTREAL — About 150 protesters gathered in Montreal’s Parc-Extension borough Monday night for the annual anti-police brutality march.

Protesters, mostly clad in black and virtually all wearing masks in conformity with the province’s COVID-19 health order, chanted anti-police and anti-capitalism slogans as they marched down the residential streets of the multicultural neighbourhood.

The protest began at 5 p.m. and ended before the 8 p.m. nighttime curfew imposed on the city by the government to limit COVID-19 transmission.

Police spokeswoman Caroline Chevrefils said Monday after the protest it was too early for her to say whether police issued tickets or made arrests.

The march was organized by a group calling itself the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality. They did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Protesters say the goal of the annual event is to denounce the harassment, violence, intimidation and abuse of power among police officers in Quebec and in the rest of the country.

They say public health orders imposed by the government during the COVID-19 pandemic have led to increased police presence in Montreal neighbourhoods.

The group says on its website it is for the “complete abolition” of police forces.

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