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91-year-old Quebec filmmaker harassed outside Russian consulate

Click to play video: 'Canadian filmmaker Claude Fournier assaulted while blasting Ukrainian anthem outside Russian consulate' Canadian filmmaker Claude Fournier assaulted while blasting Ukrainian anthem outside Russian consulate
WATCH: A well-known Canadian filmmaker says he and his sister-in-law were assaulted outside the Russian consulate in Montreal on Monday. As Global's Elizabeth Zogalis reports, the incident took place outside the Russian consulate when they were blasting the Ukrainian anthem on a portable speaker.

A 91-year-old Quebec filmmaker says he and his sister-in-law were assaulted outside the Russian consulate in Montreal on Monday.

Every day at noon sounds of war followed by the Ukrainian anthem can be heard blasting from a speaker outside the Russian institution.

The tradition was started last march by city councilor Serge Sasseville who lives across the street.

On Monday he was unable to participate after testing positive for COVID-19, so he asked his good friend, famous Quebec filmmaker Claude Fournier to step in for him, something he has done before.

“I told him I tested positive and he said ‘OK no problem, I will replace you’,” said Sasseville.

Fournier along with his sister-in-law Maryse Beauregard, drove downtown to the consulate from Nuns’ Island as they have done many times before.

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But, things didn’t go as planned.

“I received a phone call from his sister-in-law telling me something was wrong,” said Sasseville standing outside his home on Tuesday. “Maryse told me they had been harassed by someone from the consulate. I told her to call police.”

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Fournier –who has a pacemaker– says a man came from the side of the consulate, picked up his portable speaker and threw it about 50 feet away.

“He was yelling at me to leave and was threatening me, but the music was still playing from my speaker, so I picked it up and I tried to ignore him,” said Fournier. “But then he told me I have five seconds to leave and he started counting; 1, 2, 3, 4 and you know, being 91 with a pacemaker, I thought maybe I should just step down in the street, which I did.”

By then Beauregard became a target.

She says the man tried to take her phone away as she began to record but he didn’t touch her.

“I was screaming very loudly and I don’t think he liked that very much,” said Beauregard. “I called Serge. He told us to call the police and because we were still here, the gentleman was still here waiting for us to leave so that gave the chance for police to arrive”.

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They both say police spoke with all parties.

Fournier and his sister-in-law say they don’t think they will be pressing any charges.

But Fournier says the incident has only fueled his fire to continue protesting.

“Sometimes you come everyday and you think that maybe they don’t give a damn about our presence, but obviously our presence annoys them,” said Fournier with a smirk.

Sasseville meanwhile, has contacted the Foreign Affairs Ministry and is hoping some kind of action will be taken.

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