WATCH: Anti-police brutality march gets out of hand
Pyrotechnics and projectiles were fired at police and their horses during the annual march against police brutality that waded through streets of downtown Montreal on Wednesday night, according to police.
Storefronts were also smashed in and vandalized, as was a police cruiser, said Montreal Const. Manuel Couture, which he says prompted police to disperse the crowd of about 150 demonstrators.
The outbreak of vandalism and aggression towards police began after demonstrators were peaceful for about an hour, Couture continued, but squabbling broke out in front of Montreal police headquarters at the corner of Sainte-Catherine and Saint-Urbain Sts.
The demonstrators first gathered in the early evening in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve neighborhood, at the corner of Ontario and Valois Sts.
It was chosen to highlight the effects of gentrification, which organizers say is coupled with police brutality, saying in speeches to the marchers police only serve the upper class that takes over a neighbourhood, not the working class pushed out.
A heavy police presence was out overseeing the march, now in its 21st year. The demonstrators did not hand over their itinerary to the authorities beforehand, which is illegal under Montreal bylaw P-6.
The Collective opposed to police brutality, which helped organized the demonstration, seeks to denounce certain aspects of police work. The organization is targeting what it calls social cleansing, social, racial and political profiling, and the militarization of local police forces.
The police continued to patrol the area on Wednesday night after the protest was broken up to ensure no groups of stragglers remained.
No arrests were made and no injuries were reported.