Montreal’s Vigil for Michael Brown

Around 60 people gathered in front of the Police Fraternity of Montreal Sunday evening in a vigil to show solidarity with the family of Michael Brown, an unarmed African American teenager shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9.

“We’re here to demonstrate our solidarity with the people of Ferguson, and also to express our commitment to standing up and speaking out against police violence everywhere,” said Rosalind Hampton, vigil organizer and and PhD candidate at Mcgill University.

The vigil is one of many worldwide held in response to a call by Anonymous, an international hacktivist group, calling for people to gather outside police stations worldwide.

In a press release, the organizers say that the vigil “will call attention to problems with police conduct here in Montreal.” Their sentiment was echoed by the vigil attendees, among them activist Jordan Arseneault.

“The biggest problem that we have in Montreal is that the SPVM has its own […] ethics and behavioural review board,” Arseneault explained.

“And so, in every jurisdiction in the world, we know that that never leads to justice – that the police, who are a part of this fraternity that we’re standing in front of right now, will never accurately and objectively investigate their own,” he concluded.

“I think it’s on the basis of those uprisings [in Ferguson] that we build our movements for justice. […] What people who are part of grassroots movements are demanding is real justice, and fighting against [police] impunity. It takes people rising up to bring this attention to [these events],” said Jaggi Singh, activist for social justice and coordinator at QPIRG Concordia.

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