Minutes before the city’s 8 p.m. COVID-19 curfew came into effect on Monday, a few dozen protesters gathered at the intersection of Ste-Catherine and Peel streets in downtown Montreal, lighting garbage cans on fire and setting off fireworks.
Police descended on the scene within minutes, warning those assembled to disperse or risk being issued a ticket.
Firefighters quickly extinguished any fires and only a few small groups of mostly young people remained in the vicinity.
Hundreds defy 8 p.m. curfew in violent, destructive protest of COVID-19 measure in Montreal
Officers were seen apparently making good on their warning, intercepting people who appeared to be refusing to clear out.
Fireworks light up the sky as some Montrealers defy city’s 8 p.m. curfew. Monday, April 12, 2021. Gloria Henriquez/Global News
At times, more than a dozen police cruisers were gathered at the intersection, with others continued to patrol the neighbourhood.
After violent anti-curfew rally, Montreal doctor says people must make ‘some degree of sacrifices’
Just before 9 p.m., Montreal police spokesperson Julien Lévesque said the protest appeared to be limited to the city centre.
The STM also warned commuters of possible disruptions to services due to ongoing protests. Bus and metros continue to operate during curfew hours to allow for essential trips.
[État de la situation] 🚇🚌🔄⚠️ Suivez @stm_Bus et @stm_Orange pour connaître l’impact de la #ManifEnCours sur nos services. Le service est maintenu pour les déplacements essentiels. pic.twitter.com/V5r69KFRh6
— STM – Prenons soin de nous. (@stminfo) April 13, 2021
The gathering comes after a large rally on Sunday attended by hundreds that protested the first day the curfew was rolled back to 8 p.m. in Montreal and Laval after months of public health restrictions.
What began as a peaceful demonstration turned into a riot, with people setting things on fire, damaging property and smashing windows of local businesses.
As a result, seven people were arrested and more than 100 tickets were handed out.
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