Police move in to dismantle Montreal's 'tent city'
Police moved in Monday afternoon to dismantle a homeless encampment in Montreal's east-end Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough
The move comes after dozens of protesters gathered to support the residents of the 'tent city'.
Monday morning, the gates around the site were locked and Quebec's Transport Ministry stated police would be asked to intervene if the campers did not leave.
At about 4 p.m., police made an approach. Those still on site, protesters mostly and not residents of the encampment, left the scene and no arrests were made, said Montreal police spokesperson Jean-Pierre Brabant.
“No arrests, which is a good thing,” said Brabant, adding there were "no tents, no nothing, no one in the park."
The group of about 20 people faced eviction because the ministry, which co-owns the wooded property, said the site is not safe.
“We're not garbage, we're still human beings,” argued resident Guylain Levasseur, adding the tent city was safe and respectful. He added they were already kicked out of their previous site.
Advocates said forced evictions don't solve the bigger problem of homelessness.
"Taking people out of the camp won't fix the security. It will just bring the problem elsewhere,” said Michel Monette, director of CARE Montreal. “Let us do our day-to-day job to manage crises and emergencies.”
This isn't the first time members of Montreal's homeless community have been forced to move.
Last week, the city demanded that the Raphael Andre Memorial warming tent in Cabot Square be taken down in two weeks without offering an alternate site.
- with files from CTV News Montreal's Kelly Greig, Matt Grillo and Andrew Brennan