Cracking Down on Demonstrators
CUTV Reporter Among Those Arrested
Approximately 50 people were arrested following a demonstration that began early in the morning at Victoria Square and weaved its way through downtown Montreal on April 4.
Among those arrested was Concordia University Television Program Director Laith Marouf, who, along with two other reporters, was live-streaming the action.
“The demonstration was basically finished,” said Sabine Freisinger, CUTV reporter and former Concordia Student Union president. “Riot police then circled the demonstrators, and we were there trying to film.”
According to Freisinger, police became aggressive, hitting demonstrators with batons and using pepper spray on the crowd.
“We were filming all of this and saying that we were live—that’s when they grabbed our cameraman, Laith,” said Freisinger. “We were doing our jobs as journalists.”
“They didn’t want people to see live what the police are doing in the streets of Montreal against students.”
There have been several reports of excessive violence used by police during this demonstration. One McGill student is currently hospitalized at L’Hôpital Notre-Dame after reportedly being struck by riot police.
After leaving Victoria Square, the demonstration entered both the Queen Elizabeth Hotel and the Eaton Centre. The Service de police de la Ville de Montréal has reported that pyrotechnic devices were used at both locations.
The demonstration then took to McGill Metro and resurfaced at St. Laurent Metro, where police and riot police using the kettle tactic began breaking up the group and making arrests.
As of 1:30 p.m., some of those arrested had started to be released.
CUTV released a video of the incident