Minutes before the city’s 8 p.m. COVID-19 curfew came into effect on Monday, a few dozen protesters gathered at the intersection of Ste-Catherine and Peel streets in downtown Montreal, lighting garbage cans on fire and setting off fireworks.
Police descended on the scene within minutes, warning those assembled to disperse or risk being issued a ticket.
Firefighters quickly extinguished any fires and only a few small groups of mostly young people remained in the vicinity.
Officers were seen apparently making good on their warning, intercepting people who appeared to be refusing to clear out.
At times, more than a dozen police cruisers were gathered at the intersection, with others continued to patrol the neighbourhood.
Just before 9 p.m., Montreal police spokesperson Julien Lévesque said the protest appeared to be limited to the city centre.
The STM also warned commuters of possible disruptions to services due to ongoing protests. Bus and metros continue to operate during curfew hours to allow for essential trips.
The gathering comes after a large rally on Sunday attended by hundreds that protested the first day the curfew was rolled back to 8 p.m. in Montreal and Laval after months of public health restrictions.
What began as a peaceful demonstration turned into a riot, with people setting things on fire, damaging property and smashing windows of local businesses.
As a result, seven people were arrested and more than 100 tickets were handed out.
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