Anti-capitalists take to the streets in Montreal to denounce ‘scheming’ rich

Anti-capitalists march in Montreal for May Day

MONTREAL — Barely 30 minutes into the anti-capitalist protest march Monday 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 consecutive year, a group calling itself the “anticapitalist convergence” organized a march in the city to celebrate International Workers’ Day, also known as May Day.

Similar protests took place around the world.

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 said. “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 Monday by the anticapitalist convergence 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.”

Capitalism is the cause of ecosystem destruction around the world, growing wealth inequality as well as “community and ethnic marginalization,” the group said.

Another peaceful protest of roughly 200 people was organized in the city by a coalition of unions demanding the minimum wage be increased to $15 from $11.25.

Last year’s protest ended in 10 arrests and one minor injury after protesters — many of whom were wearing ski masks and other face-covering gear — allegedly threw projectiles at police.

Giuseppe Valiante, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

‘An officer and a gentleman’: Const. John Davidson is laid to rest

Thousands attend memorial service for slain Abbotsford Police officer

Photos: Rivermen sink Clippers

Game went into double OT

Hands-on history during Douglas Day at historic Fort Langley

Satchel and foot stool owned by Sir James Douglas put on display

Douglas Day celebration honours Langley’s pioneers

Theme of 159th anniversary celebration was history of transportation in the region

VIDEO: Langley bottle drive helps families fighting cancer

Team Keian event honours memory of six-year-old

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

VIDEO: Coquihalla closed both directions near Merritt

Detours are available via Hwy. 8 and Hwy. 1

VIDEO: The Last Jedi is going to be the longest ‘Star Wars’ movie yet

Newest movie in the franchise will beat Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week.

PHOTOS: Procession and funeral for Const. John Davidson

Thousands attended celebration of life for Abbotsford police officer

B.C. Liberal leadership candidates debate different paths for party

Third debate held Sunday, Nov. 19 at Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island Conference Centre

Apology to Canadians persecuted for being gay coming Nov. 28: Trudeau

Thousands were fired from the military, RCMP and public service because of their sexual orientation

Heavy rains, winds hit B.C.’s south coast

Localized flooding, gusts up to 70 km/hr expected for the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island

High winds cancel slew of BC Ferries sailings

Travel to and from Victoria and Vancouver as well as Northern Gulf Islands affected

Most Read