Montreal protesters aim to drive home message racism is a problem here too
Organizers of an anti-racism demonstration in Montreal don’t want their message to be lost after a protest that drew thousands to the streets ended in looting by a smaller group of people, once the march had officially come to a close.
“It has to stop, this killing of innocent people at the hands of police, not only in the U.S. but also Canada as well,” Marie-Livia Beaugé, a Montreal criminal justice lawyer who helped lead the rally, said Monday.
The march was held following the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died in Minneapolis last Monday.
Video showing a white police officer kneeling on the man’s neck for minutes has sparked outrage and protests across the United States, as well as several cities in Canada.
Thousands took part in the Montreal march, far more than organizers had anticipated in the middle of the pandemic.
Later on, 11 people were arrested, including nine for breaking and entering after several stores were looted downtown. Roughly 70 cases of mischief were reported, police said.
Beaugé said she was “overwhelmed by the solidarity of multiple Quebecers of different origins.”
People at the march, many of whom wore colourful masks, held signs remembering Floyd as well as black Canadians who have died during encounters with police.
They included Régis Korchinski-Paquet, a Toronto woman who fell to her death from the 24th floor of an apartment building during a police intervention last week, and Pierre Coriolan, who was shot to death by police in his Montreal apartment building in 2017.