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Protestors and police readying for COP15 in Montreal


With the 2022 UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) right around the corner, Montreal protestors are readying themselves for a busy December.

On Saturday, a group of COP15 objectors gathered in the McGill University student union building for a seminar on protestor safety, police interactions and legal support.

"We’re trying to educate people to make sure that their security is assured, that the security of the people they’re with is assured," the Anti-Capitalist and Ecologist Coalition Against COP15, which organized the seminar, told CTV News. Members asked not to be identified.

The coalition wants more decision-making power for civilians who have to live with the harshest effects of climate change.

"Our economic system, capitalism, is at the origin of this problem: only by questioning it can we save what can still be saved. Obviously, this is not the objective of the COP15," reads a post on the coalition's website, which accuses the conference of over-involving private enterprise.

"Those responsible for the disaster will not save us."

The group also accuses COP15 of "faciliating the exploitation" of Indigenous and southern lands.

"Countries with high biodiversity are expected to provide access to their natural resources," the post continues.

In addition to planning multiple protests, the coalition is also helping organize student strikes at various junior colleges (CEGEPs) and universities.


Meanwhile, law enforcement is also preparing for its moment on the world stage, organizing the largest police operation Montreal has seen in 20 years.

Local, provincial and federal officers will patrol the Palais de Congres throughout the conference, which runs from Dec. 7 to 19.

The international meeting will bring together more than 10,000 people from 195 countries.

"You have to keep in mind when you have an event like that, the Canadian government can have major embarrassment if anything should happen to those people," said Andre Durocher, a retired Montreal police (SPVM) officer.

He emphasized the rights of protestors to voice their opinions, but shared a word of advice:

"When you see people starting to break windows or to throw any kind of object, basically to do mischief, that probably is the time to go."

Security measures will include the closure of the Place D'Armes metro station from Dec. 1 to 20, and traffic restrictions on Saint-Urbain Street, Viger Avenue, Saint-Antoine Street and Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle for the duration of the conference. Top Stories

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