Tear gas v. snowballs: Quebec’s far-right rally & counter-demo clash with police (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Tear gas v. snowballs: Quebec’s far-right rally & counter-demo clash with police (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
Nearly 1,000 demonstrators from far-right and anti-fascist groups took to the streets of the provincial capital of Canada’s Quebec on Saturday. Police arrested 44 protesters and fired tear gas while trying to keep the rival demonstrators apart.

Police in riot gear maintained a heavy presence Saturday in order to prevent clashes between supporters of two far-right groups, La Meute and Storm Alliance, and counter-protesters amid a Liberal Party convention in Quebec City. Up to 400 far-right demonstrators turned out at the march, which had been outnumbered by an opposing event, according to CBC. Roughly 1,000 people showed up in total on both sides, police said.  

“We think that we can't allow another four years of Liberal government,” CBC cited one of La Meute's leaders, Sylvain Brouilette, as saying. “This government has scorn for the people.” Some of the activists were seen carrying placards and banners, with one of them reading “Quebec for Quebecois.”

Statements made by members of the right wing groups, deemed racist and violent, prompted a counter-demonstration. “There are more inclusive and un-racist people here in Quebec than racist people,” one of the participants, Emmanuel Lemonde, told CBC.

However, tensions simmered as counter-protesters clashed with police as they tried to block the right-wing rally. Officers deployed tear gas against protesters who responded by throwing snowballs at them. A total of 44 people were arrested, according to the police spokesman Andre Turcotte. The police department seized “telescopic batons, slingshots, bottles containing an unknown liquid,” according to its Twitter feed. No injuries of material damage has been reported.