People set fire and broke windows on Sunday evening in Montreal while protesting the curfew after hundreds gathered around 8 p.m. in Old Montreal. Curfew. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Giuseppe Valiante)
By Terry Haig | [email protected] Published: Monday, April 12, 2021, 5:25 a.m.
Last updated: Monday April 12, 2021 6:12 am
A peaceful demonstration in Montreal turned into a violent Sunday night as hundreds of protesters started fires and broke windows in the Vieux-Montréal neighborhood.
They responded on a curfew change – announced last week by Prime Minister François Legault, who raised the curfew to 8 p.m. from 9:30 p.m. in Montreal and neighboring Laval to try to stop the spread of COVID-19 cases, which have increased due to the spread of variants.
A lot of mostly young people gathered at Place Jacques Cartier first to protest the curfew. Things remained peaceful until fires were lit and the police responded with tear gas before storming the protesters and forcing them into the surrounding streets. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Giuseppe Valiante)
The evening began peacefully in Place Jacques Cartier in Vieux Montreal, where mostly young people danced to music from speakers, lit fireworks and sang « Freedom for the Young ».
The Things degenerated when some protesters lit fires and Polce responded to tear gas fired and the crowd stormed. The demonstrators had to flee into the surrounding streets and alleys, where they set dumpsters on fire and threw projectiles through windows in the area, which are both residential and commercial.
According to media reports, some demonstrators were still around 9:30 p.m. on the streets. Throwing glass, breaking urban infrastructure, and running away from the police when sirens sounded as firefighters battled the small flames.
Many in Quebec are unhappy with government restrictions, including curfews, which first started on Jan. 9 in Quebec.
Last month Legault postponed the curfew to 9:30 p.m. canceled in some regions, including Montreal, in some of the more remote areas of Quebec altogether.
But last week he said he had no choice but to do it in Montreal and Laval because of a surge in cases and the spread of COVID- 19 variants to move back to 8 p.m.
He also announced that the additional lockdown measures in Quebec City, Lévis, Beauce and Gatineau – where variants of COVID-19 are spreading rapidly – will be extended until April 19 .
On Sunday, Quebec reported 1,535 new COVID-19 cases as well as five other deaths related to the virus.
Health Minister Christian Dubé tweeted that the numbers were worrying, with 58 percent of new cases in people under 40
« As vaccination accelerates, we must continue to adhere to measures if we are to defeat this pandemic, » wrote Dubé.
The violence on Sunday evening came a day after several Hundreds of dogs ert parents and children took part in a demonstration against public health measures in schools on Saturday afternoon at Place des Festivals in Montreal in the city’s central business district.