Demonstrators took to the streets of Montreal Saturday afternoon for a protest organized by the ASSE student group, an event which police declared illegal from the outset, as organizers failed to provide an itinerary for the march.

But the demonstrators - who organizers said numbered about 5,000 in total - were permitted to march.

Some organizers interviewed by CTV Montreal explained the aims of the demonstration.

"We want to mobilize people on the issue of having accessible public services all over the province," said Camille Godbout of the ASSE student group.

"We're starting to see an approach where government doesn't have our best interests at heart," said Fanny Poirier of the Spring 2015 Protest Committee.

Police arrested one demonstrator for allegedly assaulting an oficer. They handed out three tickets, two for violating a municipal bylaw banning the use of firecrackers and another for violating the P-6 ban on wearing masks at protests.

The march left from Emilie Gamelin Square outside the Berri metro at about 2 p.m. and wound through a multitude of downtown streets.

At about 4:30 p.m. police ordered the withering crowd of demonstrators to disperse. Most did but police accelerated the process by forcing them towards the metro station, leading to some minor conflict.

Protest organizers said that the event aimed to denounce the provincial austerity program, along with other environmental concerns. About 4,700 expressed their intention to attend the march on the ASSE Facebook page.