Heavy police presence for Montreal's annual anti-police brutality demo | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Heavy police presence for Montreal's annual anti-police brutality demo

People participate in an anti-police brutality demonstration in Montreal on Friday March 15, 2013. Police used horses, pepper-spray and kettling tactics to clamp down Friday on an annual protest that has a history of getting rowdy.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
March 15, 2013 - 2:04 PM

MONTREAL - Montreal is bracing for its annual march against police brutality.

Demonstrators have gathered for the last 17 years to protest against police — and 15 of those marches have seen violence.

This year's demonstration carries a uniquely bitter undertone after police and protesters clashed almost nightly during Quebec's so-called Maple Spring.

The march is starting in front of Montreal police headquarters in the heart of downtown.

It is a stone's throw from the city's main shopping district and merchants have complained in recent days how business drops as people clear out of the area before the march.

Police have advised people to avoid the area.

The march is almost automatically declared illegal because demonstrators don't provide a route to authorities, which is required under municipal bylaws.

Last year, 200 people were arrested after the march, which co-incided with ongoing student protests in the province, turned violent.

Windows were smashed in the melee and police cars were vandalized.

Police are co-ordinating their response to the march with a high-tech command centre that links them with the fire department and the city's ambulance service.

A large force of officers in riot gear was also deployed.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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