Hundreds of Bill 21 supporters, opponents clash in downtown demonstration
A pro-Bill 21 rally was held in downtown Montreal Saturday afternoon.
Hundreds of people – many of them donning patriotic gear and waving Quebec flags - gathered on de Maisonneuve Boulevard, not far from Papineau Avenue.
‘La Vague Bleue’ – the organizers of the event – are a group who say they support Premier Francois Legault’s proposed secularism bill.
“Initially, the main purpose of La Vague Bleue is to promote a Quebec citizen’s constitution,” reads a post on the demonstration’s event page. “Following the latest events, there is now added support for secularism.”
Bill 21 would ban some public servants from donning religious symbols.
The proposed legislation has prompted several high-profile demonstrations by public servants and supporters since its introduction back in March.
However, during the demonstration, counter-protestors arrived to oppose the message presented by La Vague Bleue – saying they believe the group is affiliated with other nationalist or right-leaning political cells.
The march ended around 5 p.m. with two arrests made by Montreal police.
A 39-year-old man was arrested for assaulting a police officer, while a 16-year-old was arrested for allegedly defacing a police vehicle.
Nine instances of graffiti or vandalism were reported during the march.
No one was injured.