#Manif2Avril Night Demo Comparatively Tame

  • Police blocking off a street during a protest on Thursday night. Photo Laura Lalonde

  • Protesters marching through downtown Montreal against austerity Thursday night. Photo Laura Lalonde

A peaceful assembly ended, well, peacefully.

Following scenes of tear gas and arrests at the conclusion of the earlier Thursday demonstration against austerity of over 75,000 people, a small night time demo witnessed no major confrontation with police.

Beginning at Place Emilie-Gamelin, a group which fluctuated between 100 to 200 people marched around downtown Montreal, often circling back on the same streets. In a drizzling rain, it lasted approximately two hours.

The major confrontation occurred at the end, nearly where it began, at Berri-UQAM Metro when police blocked all four exits of the area. Demonstrators decided to verbally confront the police, shouting, “Bouge, bouge, bouge,” but tensions did not escalate further.

Eventually police directed individuals to either walk along the sidewalk or head toward the metro. Keehan Toitot-Cadia individually approached lines of police in riot gear at various points during the demo, preaching solidarity with the uniformed people while raising peace signs.

“We’re still in the same home where money has been stolen by the government,” he told The Link about seeking support from the police. “We are fighting against this government, while they are protecting them.”

“They should be walking with us right now.”

Kilian Dalvy, a student at UQAM, says he was at the afternoon’s larger demonstration, but he missed the violent scenes at the end. He adds that he doesn’t think the government is “seriously” hearing the people’s voices and that “violence” to catch the media’s attention is necessary to be heard.

With the recent news that the UQAM administration has been trying to expel some of its students for their strikes, Dalvy says he’s “disappointed” in his school for putting students “under the guillotine.”

“It’s not smart; they’re smarter than this,” he said. “They should know it’s not going to work.”

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