May Day protest in Montreal gets violent

The Canadian Press

MONTREAL–Barely 30 minutes into the anti-capitalist protest march yesterday in Montreal, several in the crowd threw canisters of pink gas at police, who responded with tear gas.
Moments later, red flags, black masks, and other clothing littered a downtown square–belonging to a few protesters who entered into the city’s underground network to evade arrest.
Most of the anti-capitalist protesters stayed above-ground, however, and marched through downtown to disturb what they claimed were the corporate playgrounds of the scheming rich.
For the 10th-straight year, a group calling itself the “anticapitalist convergence” organized a march in the city to celebrate International Workers’ Day, also known as May Day.
The slogan of this year’s protest was, “They are rich because we are poor and we are right to revolt,” according to the group’s literature.
Aside from the initial tear gas incident, some protesters broke bank office windows and threw projectiles at cars along the march route, which was limited to the central core of the city.
By 9 p.m., police said they had made one arrest.
Protesters shouted obscenities at police, whom they accused of being the protectors of the wealthy owners of capital.
Many protesters wore masks to hide their identity and most who were approached by The Canadian Press refused to be interviewed.
Constance Markievicz, a self-described communist, was in the crowd and said communism is “real democracy for the working class.”
Cuba, a communist one-party republic, “is the most democratic country in the world today,” Markievicz noted.
“I would much rather live in Cuba than Canada at the moment as a working-class person.”
Alongside Markievicz was Oliver Smith-Jones, also a communist.
“I think Canada should look a lot more like the societies it tried to bury and destroy during colonization,” he said, referring to the continent’s indigenous peoples.
Protesters chose downtown because it’s where “the rich mingle and scheme,” according to a news release published yesterday by the group.
The neighbourhood’s bank offices, luxury hotels, restaurants, and private nightclubs are places “where this ‘elite’ of vultures decide how we should live our lives while maintaining us in misery and precarity.”