A Montreal neighbourhood that was the scene of riots, gunplay and a deadly police shooting is the first target of a citywide non-violence campaign launched on Tuesday.

Sixth-grade students at St. Vincent Marie elementary school donned t-shirts emblazoned with a non-violence pact as part of the United against Violence campaign.

The daylong event involves Montreal police, the Commision scolaire de Montreal, city officials and McGill University.

"It's sort of a contract that all sixth grade students are making not to accept any kind of violence," police spokesman Yannick Ouimet said in a statement.

The program will be officially launched on Mount Royal later on Tuesday morning.


Montreal police have been engaged in an outreach campaign in Montreal North this year to mend bridges and quell tensions.

The situation reached a climax in August 2008 following the police shooting death of teenager Fredy Villanueva.

The shooting triggered riots and vandalism, and a police officer was shot in the leg.