May 6, 2014 5:51 pm

71-year-old activist speaks out against Montreal riot police

MONTREAL – This city has become somewhat accustomed to witnessing protests and demonstrations for all kinds of social issues.

Among the thousands marching for their beliefs was 71-year-old Robert Fransham.

“It’s not just a case of going out to rabble rouse a little bit, it’s to get out and make a statement,” he told Global News.

Age and retirement has not stopped the former history teacher at Centennial Regional High School from taking to the streets any opportunity he gets, but after what happened to him at last month’s student protest against austerity, Fransham was forced to take a bit of break.

“I happened to get caught up in a charge and one of the riot police hit me,” he explained.

Watch: 71-year-old man injured at protest 

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Fransham said he was on his bike when he got knocked over with an officer’s shield.

“I was really clumsy when I went down because I got tangled in the bicycle frame and I went down head first onto the road.”

Fransham suffered injuries to his head and legs and what made his situation even worse is his heart condition.

“I’m on Coumadin, a blood thinner, so if I bang my head, and if I cut myself, I bleed, and banging my head is particularly dangerous because I can be bleeding out of my brain.”

Now, he uses crutches to get around and has been in and out of the hospital for the past month.

Montreal police would not comment because of the ongoing investigation but they believe Robert Fransham was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

A spokesperson told Global News that during a charge riot police are trained to hold the line, that could explain why no one stopped to help.

“They didn’t care, they just trampled me like I was sand under their feet,” Fransham said.

He’s taking the case to court and despite what happened to him, the senior citizen will continue to march for the issues he believes in.

On Wednesday, he’ll speak at an event for victims of police brutality.

“We have these police who are intimidating us as citizens of this city and we should do something about them.”



© Shaw Media, 2014

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