MONTREAL -- Under the watchful eyes of a large police presence, roughly 50 people gathered in Montreal on Saturday to demonstrate against Quebec's curfew.

The demonstrators said they believe the public health measure has a “symbolic effect” while actually degrading the social safety net and creating a climate of fear.

The protest took place in the Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough and was organized by a group calling itself 'No police solution to the health crisis.'

From the protest's beginning police asked participants to wear face coverings and respect physical distancing guidelines.

In a statement, organizers accused the government of encouraging “a search for scapegoats and individual guilt, thus shirking all responsibility.”

On a Facebook page for the event, they called the curfew, in place throughout Quebec, of being “unacceptable,” “absurd” and “dangerous” for the most vulnerable members of society.

Several protesters said they were on the left side of the political spectrum and took paints to distance themselves from other anti-curfew protests which have been held by conspiracy theorists and members of the far-right.

“Anti-maskers and anti-vaccinators are not welcome and will not be tolerated,” they said.

Quebec's curfew is in place from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. until Feb. 8.