MONTREAL – About 288 people were detained at Montreal’s anti-police brutality protest Saturday.
They were given fines of $637 for participating in an illegal demonstration.
Officers on bikes and horseback, dressed up in riot gear, forced many of the protesters onto a side street and surrounded them.
The protest was declared illegal, just minutes after it began because it violated Montreal’s P6 bylaw, requiring organizers to give police a route for their protest at least 24 hours ahead of time.
Five arrests were made on a variety of charges, including armed assault on a police officer and mischief.
15h05 : notice was given to the crowd that the #manifencours is declared illegal. We ask everyone to leave. #COBP
— Police Montréal (@SPVM) March 15, 2014
Aside from a vandalized RDI news truck, there were few signs of the troubles that have marked previous versions of the protest.
Unlike most years, protesters did not demonstrate downtown but were at the corner of Jean -Talon and Chateaubriand.
The Jean Talon metro station was temporarily closed but normal service resumed after about an hour.
No trains stopping at Jean-Talon station. #STM Q
— STM Ligne Bleue (@stm_Bleue) March 15, 2014
@SPVM intervention due to ongoing demonstration. No trains stopping at Jean-Talon station. We keep you posted #STM #manifencours
— STM Ligne Orange (@stm_Orange) March 15, 2014
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It was there, at the Jean-Talon metro station where an SPVM police officer was caught on video threatening a homeless man in January.
The Collective Opposed to Police Brutality (C.O.B.P), believes the incident illustrates how police are trying to eliminate the homeless, marginalized population with mental health or substance abuse issues, from the public sphere.
The Collective also believes that social profiling is influenced by municipal politicians, in response to repeated requests from business-owners and residents.
WATCH: Protester speaks out on why he’s demonstrating against police brutality
In February, Alain Magloire was killed after wielding a hammer in what police officers said was a threatening fashion.
Magloire was found to be suffering from a mental illness.
In 2011 a homeless man, Mario Hamel, was shot and killed by police after they responded to a call about Hamel wielding a knife in downtown.
The Association for Student Union Solidarity ( ASSE ) will also take part in Saturday’s event and want to demonstrate their opposition to the repressive measures taken by any police force.
Co- spokesman Justin Arcand believes that police brutality was at the heart of the student protests in 2012.
He argues that police tactics directly infringe on the rights to freely express themselves.
Even though the SPVM said that police do not intend to prevent demonstrators from expressing themselves, past events have turned violent, resulting in clashes with police and hundreds of arrests.
PHOTO GALLERY: This year’s anti-police brutality march
With files from the Canadian Press