One person arrested at anti-curfew demonstration
MONTREAL -- One person was arrested towards the end of another protest against Montreal's 8 p.m. curfew on Sunday.
The protest began with hundreds gathering in Jeanne-Mance Park at 5:30 p.m. The demonstrators began marching but were met by police at Parc and des Pins. The protesters were allowed to proceed and marched back to the park where the protest was declared over at 7:20 p.m.
Montreal police said one person was arrested for violating criminal codes and two tickets were given out for sanitary violations.
Unlike previous protests, this one was organized by anti-capitalist activists. On a Facebook event page, organizers called on participants to "protest together against this authoritarian government that only serves capitalist and colonial interests."
They added that they believe the curfew disproportionately affects marginalized people such as victims of domestic and LGBTQphobic violence, the homeless, People of Colour, sex workers and others.
"The answer to a public health crisis is not to render the most marginalized people even more precarious," the organizers write. "The curfew isn't an answer, the curfew is the repressive measure of a state that uses its police more and more in a futile attempt to address much wider issues."
Scott Weinstein, a nurse, was among those who gathered in the park. He said he believes the curfew is doing more harm than good.
“Every night at 7:30 the cops roll through Jeanne-Mance Park and send everybody who's partying there home," he said. "They'll just continue partying at home where it's more likely they'll spread the virus.”
Many of those in attendance stressed that they do not believe the pandemic is a hoax, as expressed by some in previous anti-mask and anti-curfew demonstrations. They said they fully endorse the wearing of masks and practicing physical distancing but did not believe any scientific evidence exists showing the curfew has been effective in combatting the virus.
"We are among those that are at the end of our rope when the curfew was first announced," the organizers wrote on Facebook.
"The last few days have shown us we are far from being the only ones. We can not stay home anymore when the state enforces public health measures based on nothing."
Since Premier Francois Legault announced the curfew would move back to 8 p.m. from 9:30 p.m. on April 11, protests that turned to vandalism and rioting took place in Montreal's Old Port two nights in a row.
Other minor demonstrations and acts of defiance have occurred throughout the week.
The organizers of Sunday's protest said another will be held on Thursday at Place Valois at 5:30 p.m.
- With reporting from CTV Montreal's Billy Shields