As part of worldwide demonstrations against lockdowns and curfews involving 40 cities, thousands of Montrealers marched throughout the city on Saturday, March 20th. This was the second march against restrictions in as many weeks. Demonstrators met up at two locations in the city: Parc Sandro-Pertini in Saint-Michel (Montreal North) and Place des Festivals on Jeanne-Mance (Center of Montreal). Both groups marched towards Jeanne-Mance Parc at which point approximately 10,000 demonstrators were present.
It is unclear why the groups separated and marched in opposite directions at that point. Some demonstrators claimed that the police separated them and others mentioned that possible Antifa intervention may have caused them to separate. The Suburban followed the group that marched South on Jeanne Mance and ended their demonstration between De Maisonneuve and Sainte-Catherine St.
The southbound group ended their participation in the demonstration with some street entertainment, similar to what Montrealers and tourists would normally expect to experience in the old port. The Suburban met members along the way that stood close to the “police-line” at the far end who claimed that they attended the event to provide ‘additional’ security by forming a shield between demonstrators and police. They encouraged demonstrators to carry forward and to limit dialogue with police officers. “We just want to make our message heard without any unnecessary incidents” a masked member of the additional security group said to The Suburban.
Police presence was substantial, with officers covering the front and back-ends of both groups as well as the crossroads. The overall ambiance was jovial, with many attendees chanting, singing and dancing in the streets calling for an end to what they are calling an “abuse of power” by the provincial and federal governments.