Canada Montreal businesses clean up after anti-curfew protest turns violent
The West Block — Episode 28, Season 10
Watch the full episode of The West Block on Sunday, April 4, 2021.Episode 28, Season 10
MONTREAL — Business owners in Montreal were cleaning up and assessing the damage today following an anti-curfew protest that turned violent.
Hundreds gathered in defiance of a return to an 8 p.m. curfew that took effect in Montreal and Laval beginning Sunday evening.
The mostly young crowd danced to music from loudspeakers while lighting fireworks and chanting, "freedom for the young," before the festive atmosphere quickly degenerated as some protesters lit garbage fires and smashed the windows of businesses in Old Montreal.
Police fired tear gas and rushed the crowd, prompting dozens of protesters to scatter and cause mayhem down the cobblestone streets of Montreal’s historic district.
Quebec reports 1,754 cases of COVID-19, 13 more deaths as hospitalizations rise
This comes as Premier François Legault announced restrictions are being tightened in Montreal and Laval with the reinstatement of the 8 p.m. curfew as of Sunday. It will be maintained until further notice. READ MORE: COVID-19: Confusion, frustration in Montreal area as people prepare for second 8 p.m. curfew Legault said that while both places have not seen an explosion of cases, the high population density makes them much more vulnerable in terms of the spread of the virus — especially as the province grapples with the highly contagious variants.
A police spokesman said today seven arrests were made, though there was no immediate word on charges, and that 107 tickets were issued for public health violations.
Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante today denounced the crowd's actions and urged solidarity in the face of a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The mayhem observed in Old Montreal last night is absolutely unacceptable," she wrote on Twitter. "The fatigue linked to our fight against COVID19 in no way justifies the destruction of public property and non-compliance with the rules."
Montreal police say they are still investigating possible incidents of mischief, arson, breaking and entering, and obstruction of police.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 12, 2021.
The Canadian Press
#ICYMI: Quebec-Ontario border, Caufield called up, more news .
Quebec-Ontario border will close Monday as provinces battle variants The Legault government has responded to Ontario’s decision to close its border Monday by doing the same thing in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19 between the provinces. Read more. Quebec will ship AstraZeneca to regions if Montrealers don’t want it Montreal’s public health authorities are appealing to Montrealers 55 and older to get to their nearest vaccination centre this weekend for a shot of AstraZeneca while they still can. Read more.