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Ugly protests on tap in Montreal Saturday

Police are bracing for protests and counter-protests in Montreal's Little Maghreb neighbourhood. No One is Illegal

MONTREAL — Police are bracing for what could become an ugly protest Saturday afternoon.

The first sign of trouble surfaced earlier this month, when a right-wing group from Germany announced it was coming to Montreal to demonstrate.

PEGIDA — Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, is planning to launch its first march in North America at 4 p.m. at a commercial centre near the Little Maghreb neighbourhood of Villeray-Park Extension.

The Quebec branch of Pegida organized the event via a post on its Facebook page, with 181 members confirming their presence.

WATCH: Anti-Islamization protest planned for Montreal

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Just before that protest, a counter-demonstration organized by No one Is Illegal-Montreal is set to begin at 3:30 p.m. on the corner of Pie-IX and Belair, a stone’s throw away.

Mayor Denis Coderre issued a statement to a Global News reporter in French in advance of the protest, saying “Montreal is a welcoming place,” and adding that “hateful discourse isn’t tolerated here… Montreal is a land of diversity and freedom.”

The official opposition also condemned the anti-Islam overtones of the PEGIDA march.

“I want to remind the people of Maghreb descent in Montreal that they aren’t second-class citizens, but Montrealers. I hope they feel completely safe in their home here,” City Councillor Sylvain Ouellet wrote in a prepared release.

 

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