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28 Mar, 2015 02:14

Montreal police disperse hundreds of protesters with tear gas, stun grenades

Riot police in Montreal used tear gas and flash-bangs to disperse hundreds of students rallying in the city’s downtown in protest against the Quebec government’s austerity measures.

Following dispersal, barricades have been put up at Montreal’s Carré Phillips and protesters are regrouping, according to various reports on the ground.

The crowd just surged from the side streets our of nowhere. Hundreds are standing on the barricades now, waiting for police. #manifencours

— Shawn Carrié (@shawncarrie) March 28, 2015

Barricades going up at Carré Phillips. Mayhem in Montréal. #manifencours#printemps2015pic.twitter.com/Up5lDPBNfN

— Shawn Carrié (@shawncarrie) March 28, 2015

The march began downtown as demonstrators gathered at Dominion Square on Friday night. The rally was declared illegal at 9:15 p.m. local time.

Within the next 30 minutes, the riot squad was dispersing students from St. Catherine Street.

Confrontation between police and protestors on St Catherine and Union #manifencourspic.twitter.com/KT0LrkDrMQ

— CSU (@csuconcordia) March 28, 2015

Tear gas and stun grenades were repeatedly used, prompting students to scatter and run away.

Local shops proceeded to close, locking their windows and doors.

I've been shoved, kicked, pepper sprayed as a reporter but sounds like tonight quickly devolved for the journalists present. #manifencours

— Kalina Laframboise (@KayLaframboise) March 28, 2015

Even though demonstrators failed to submit their itinerary in accordance with bylaw P-6, Montreal police said it would allow a peaceful march if no laws were broken, CTV News reported. But soon after, police proceeded to label the protest illegal and began dispersal tactics.

eyes burning, chemical gas bombs exploding, snow falling, despite repression rally reclaimed streets #manifencourspic.twitter.com/KV59VzmtW1

— Stefan Christoff (@spirodon) March 28, 2015

Another student demonstration tonight in Montreal. Police have declared it illegal. Photo by @pascalrobidaspic.twitter.com/h6OyRp7wlE

— CBC Montreal (@CBCMontreal) March 28, 2015

Earlier on Friday, about 100 activists stormed into the Université du Québec à Montréal wearing masks and protesting against the potential expulsion of nine students for their involvement in 2012 protests.

Montreal has been on edge this week after Tuesday’s protests were dispersed, leading to the arrests of four people. Three others were injured during the rallies, including one police officer.

Students have been demonstrating against sweeping education cuts in Quebec, promising to continue their demonstrations and organizing participants for Spring 2015 marches.