/Hundreds defy 8 p.m. curfew in violent, destructive protest of COVID-19 measure in Montreal – Montreal | Globalnews.ca

Hundreds defy 8 p.m. curfew in violent, destructive protest of COVID-19 measure in Montreal – Montreal | Globalnews.ca

Several hundred people defied Montreal’s 8 p.m. curfew on Sunday evening to protest the measure that was ordered back into place by the Quebec government amid the rise of COVID-19 cases in the province.

Videos shared on social media show people gathered in the streets of the old port, mostly not wearing masks nor distancing. Footage online also shows people setting things on fire, damaging property and smashing in windows of local businesses.

Hundreds of people breaking first night of 8 p.m. curfew in Old Montreal. « Freedom for the young!» they chant. pic.twitter.com/zdqAjb9MTz

— Giuseppe Valiante (@Gvaliante) April 12, 2021

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The protest began relatively calm, with a mostly young crowd dancing to music from loudspeakers while lighting fireworks and chanting. However as demonstrators began getting destructive, they were met with tear gas from police in a bid to control the crowd.

According to Montreal police, seven people were arrested and face charges ranging from public mischief, breaking and entering, and arson, while 107 tickets were issued for breaking public health guidelines.

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Premier François Legault announced on Thursday that restrictions are being tightened in Montreal and Laval with the reinstatement of the 8 p.m. curfew as of Sunday. It will be maintained until further notice.

The curfew was first put in place for Montreal on Jan. 9 and was originally set to remain until Feb. 8. The Quebec government then continuously extended it — citing that it was helping decrease the number of daily reported COVID-19 infections.

Officials then extended it from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in mid-March, and last Thursday said they were again rolling it back by 90 minutes.

Legault said the measure is preventive amid rising COVID-19 infections across the province, which hit 1,535 on Sunday. Health officials say the presence of more contagious virus variants make Montreal and Laval more vulnerable to outbreaks due to their high population and density.

Health Minister Christian Dubé tweeted on Sunday that the numbers are concerning given that 58 per cent of new cases involve people under the age of 40.

“While vaccination accelerates, we must continue to adhere to the measures if we want to defeat this pandemic,” Dubé wrote.

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Police moving in, shooting tear gas, protesters scatter. pic.twitter.com/Hunk7QK20I

— Giuseppe Valiante (@Gvaliante) April 12, 2021

Police extinguish fire at place Jacques Cartier. pic.twitter.com/HmrPWV8o2t

— Giuseppe Valiante (@Gvaliante) April 12, 2021

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–with files from the Canadian Press


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COVID-19: Quebec reports over 1,500 new cases as government brings back 8 p.m. curfew in Montreal, Laval