June 7, Thursday, Demo and Nude-In

At 5pm, there was a demonstration at the corner of Notre Dame and des Seigneurs, which began with a megaphone announcement condemning the Grand Prix for its elitism and sexism. The protest was kettled as soon as it began, forcing a standstill.

By 5:45pm, police began selectively arresting individuals and pulling them back behind the police line. It was unclear whether this was for violating Law 78 (for example, by wearing masks), or for some other reason. Many protesters resisted, and some were successfully “de-arrested” — prevented from being pulled across the police line.

At 6:25, the police let the protesters peacefully leave. The activists marched to Saint Catherine, and then headed east. They were joined by other demonstrators along the way. At 6:50pm, protesters tried to break through a police line going north, and were met with resistance.

Some demonstrators trapped the police by bringing over a metal gate. The SPVM (Montreal Police) removed it and began arresting protesters.

Cops pursued individuals for the next half hour as the protest scattered. It largely reassembled at the Nude-In demonstration at Place du Canada, where a separate group of activists were gathered, a few blocks away.

A little before 8:00pm, the nude march began and snaked its way through downtown Montreal. The protest remained peaceful — an intention of the demonstration, emphasized by the nudity — but the crowd occasionally flustered police by moving in unexpected directions.

As it grew darker, the march made its way down Rene Levesque, and eventually to the Francofolies Music Festival, where protesters banged pots and pans in the balcony and splashed around in the fountain.

The snake march continued with most people re-clothed. At around 9:10pm, a series of fireworks caused the police to chase a group of protesters and deploy tear gas. The protesters outran the riot-gear laden cops, overturned some dumpsters, and marched back toward the music festival. This march dwindled as it made its way north up Saint Laurent and ended peaceably at around 11:00pm.

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