Montreal curfew: Some youth ticketed for second or third time Monday night
MONTREAL -- Among the youth who defied curfew for a second night in a row Monday in Montreal, some, who are minors, are on their second, third and even fourth ticket for violating the public health measures.
But they say they will continue to defy the rules.
There were fewer people protesting the curfew Monday night in downtown Montreal than the day before.
Among them were two friends aged 15 and 16 years old, who were demonstrating on the street Saint-Catherine West.
"We were demonstrating and the police nabbed us," one of them candidly told The Canadian Press, showing her ticket.
"It's been a year that we've been at home like prisoners, now it's summer, we want our freedom!" she said, adding that she will continue to defy the curfew "every day."
The two teenagers were also ticketed the day before while participating in the protests in Old Montreal, where damage was caused by rioters.
They are high school students, do not have jobs and intend to contest the fines.
"The police officer called my mother already, I think she's angry, but I don't care, I'm fighting for my rights and I don't have any money anyway," said the youngest before entering the metro under the eyes of two police officers who had ordered them to go home.
A few minutes later, still on Saint-Catherine Street, a police officer reprimanded a young woman for giving him a false identity.
The young woman, who was issued a ticket for violating the curfew, explained to the officer that she did not like her real name and tried in vain to argue that she had the right to choose the name she liked.
The officer remained calm, and when he discovered her real identity, he was surprised: "This is your fourth ticket for breaking curfew."
The repeat offender, who told The Canadian Press her name was Sabrina, was also protesting for a second night in a row downtown.
She now faces $6,000 in fines and said she has no job.
"There's absolutely no point in a curfew because I'm going to see my friends anyway, but if I have to pay, I'll pay and learn from my mistakes," she said, accompanied by her friend, who was on her third $1,500 ticket.
At the same time, across the street, a group of young men were watching the police hand out tickets while smoking cigarettes.
One of them told The Canadian Press that they all have a certificate filled out and signed by their employer to justify being out past curfew.
"We're smarter than they are," said a smiling young man, pointing to a group being stopped by police.
Some of the young people who were on Saint-Catherine Street after the curfew on Monday night suggested that they misused certificates to avoid getting a ticket, while others claimed to have the right to violate the curfew, but did not have the required document.
This is the case of Nasser, a young man who was walking alone when The Canadian Press interviewed him.
The police gave him a ticket, but he sweared he was just going home after finishing his shift at a restaurant.
"I'm on my way home from work and I live in the area, but I forgot my certificate," he said, adding that he will contest the $1,500 ticket.
Since Sunday, the curfew has been rolled back from 9:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the island of Montreal and in Laval, until further notice.
Youths aged 14 and over are liable to a $500 fine, while the minimum fine for adults is $1,000.