Montreal residents can expect to hear gunfire ring out in downtown Montreal today, CBC reports, assuring us firearms will be loaded with blanks.
Police are staging a three-hour drill – responding to a simulated terrorist attack – in the heart of the entertainment district. This is where all big festivals and spectacles are held in the summer and, incidentally, where both the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) and one of Montreal’s biggest colleges, Cegep de Vieux Montreal, are located. The area also touches on the Latin Quarter which houses many students and their activities. It is also the area where the massive student mobilizations took place in 2012 and earlier this year and where the provincial and federal government buildings are located.
Montreal police are closing several major streets on Saturday, October 24 at noon to conduct the drill in a busy downtown area, the CBC reports. The following downtown streets will be closed to traffic from noon to 3 pm:
- St-Urbain between Sherbrooke and Ste-Catherine
- Jeanne-Mance between Sherbrooke and De Maisonneuve
- Bleury between Sherbrooke and President-Kennedy
- Ontario and President-Kennedy between Clark and City Councillors
- De Maisonneuve between Clark and Jeanne-Mance
“The main goal of the exercise tomorrow is to see how we work together,” said Commander Ian Lafrenière of the Montreal police. Lafrenière said that signs will be posted.
The role played by Montreal police in demonstrations of workers and students is very controversial. In the name of security the City Council has also passed bylaws violating civil liberties and criminalizing dissent which the police enforce. Another major concern when it comes to the Montreal police is police brutality against the youth. The police engage in kettling and mass arrests of young people. Their treatment of minority youth in poor neighbourhoods, where killings are a major concern, is also very controversial.
Source: Reewal Update,
October 23, 2015 • No. 199 Previous Issues