The same day as the curfew in Montréal was made an hour and a half earlier, a gathering organized on social networks quickly turned riotous. Hundreds of people wreaked havoc in Old Montréal under the impotent eyes of SPVM officers. The event followed on the heels of an intensification of police interventions in many parks around Montréal, and the networked sharing of a video showing the SPVM beating a person in parc Jeanne-Mance.
More than 700 people were assembled Sunday evening to protest against the rolling back of the curfew to 8 pm. Starting at 7 pm, a crowd composed of young Montrealers started to mass at the intersection of rue de la Commune and place Jacques-Cartier. No one could say from where the call came exactly; the people present had seen it on Snapchat or Instagram. Within an atmosphere that was both festive and eclectic, under fireworks and the sound of motorbikes and sports cars, people yelled out diverse slogans, insulting the premier and calling for the opening of gyms, schools, and clubs. The few police cars that dared to pass by on de la Commune were instantly pelted with stones, keeping the SPVM from asserting themselves in the plaza, even before 8 pm. Several conspiracy theorists tried to take hold of the evening, but they were rapidly sidelined in the course of the events.
Towards 8:30, a fire was lit in the middle of Place Jacques-Cartier, and quickly fed with garbage and nearby material. The SPVM then tried to disperse the gathering by deploying tear gas, shooting plastic bullets, and charging the crowd. Small group then formed and took it upon thesmelves to smash the windows of storefonts on rues Notre-Dame and St-Paul without a cop in sight, for long stretches of time.
It was faced with the catastrophic mismanagement of the government, and the recourse of using the police to apply useless sanitary measures, that the youth of Montréal rose up. Yesterday evening, we felt a roar of refusal resound through the streets of the city.