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Montreal riot police use tear gas, batons to dismantle pro-Palestinian street protest

Police in riot gear seen shooting tear gas towards protesters. SolidaritePalestine à l'UQAM

Montreal police dismantled a pro-Palestinian street demonstration Monday afternoon.

Dozens of officers in riot gear used tear gas and batons to disperse a crowd of protesters blocking President Kennedy Street just after 3 p.m.

Cellphone footage captured by the protesters shows officers forcefully moving demonstrators and using pepper spray.

Organizers of the demonstration put on by the group “Solidarite Palestine à l’UQAM,” described the actions as “police brutality” and “without warning.”

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According to police spokesperson Jean-Pierre Brabant, officers were called to the street corner after protesters were seen using tables and pallets to stop traffic.

“It was a safety issue,” Brabant said. “We used dispersal techniques to move the protesters.”

Organizers say they intended to form a “temporary zone of autonomy,” but according to Montreal police, the street protest was not approved by the city.

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The demonstration was quickly broken up.

Police did not report any injuries but protest organizers claim to have sustained multiple minor wounds after the event.

Police say demonstrators were pushed back to the nearby encampment on the UQAM campus grounds, which remains standing.

No arrests were made, according to Brabant, however, one person is expected to be charged with assault.

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