Dozens Arrested At Food Not Bombs Rally In Montreal

Robert (101607.2566@CompuServe.COM)
06 Aug 96 10:12:15 EDT


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From: Arm The Spirit, INTERNET:ats@locust.cic.net
To: Multiple recipients of list, INTERNET:ATS-L@BURN.UCSD.EDU
Date: 06.08.1996 01:13

Subject:Dozens Arrested At Food Not Bombs Rally In Montreal

Dozens Arrested At Food Not Bombs Rally In Montreal

Between fifty and seventy people were arrested by Montreal riot
police at approximately 5:30 am this Monday, July 29th. The arrested
individuals were all that remained of a 400-strong all-night Food Not
Bombs rally/celebration at Berri Square, a popular hangout which is
currently the object of a police "clean-up" campaign.
Following complaints from some local businesses that the people who
hung out at the Square were scaring away the tourists, this year the city
re-classified the Square as a park and police started ticketing people for
sitting on the grass, rollerblading or being there during Montreal's
midnight-6am curfew in parks. Food Not Bombs had called on people to
gather at the Square at midnight, and to stay until 6am the next morning,
as a challenge to the curfew and to symbolically "take back" the space.
This action had been endorsed by several other radical left and grassroots
groups. Prior to the actual event it was discovered that police had been
making inquiries amongst other organizations working with street people as
to who was in FNB and whether it was "as insurrectionary" as the Quebec
City FNB chapter (3 Quebec City FNB activists were charges with pot
posession and given jail time when the group and another anarchist
collective, Demanarchie, were scapegoated for riots previous this summer).
All went smoothly until about 5am in the morning. People had lit a
bonfire and were having a good time. Then two sides of the Square was
cordoned off by rioty police. The police started moving in so people left
the park. Once this happened the city put out the fire. During this time
many people managed to get away, but most were herded/pursued by police a
few blocks away to Sherbrooke metro station, where they managed to elude
their pursuers and made their way back to the Square. At this point the
riot police surrounded them and arrested them. At least two people were
brutalized, although at this point I am unsure if this was by police or by
the guards at Bonsecours detention centre where they were all held.
By Monday afternoon, everyone had been released. They had been
charged with violating curfew and given $116 tickets. each.
Food Not Bombs plans to hold similar actions in the future. Letters
of support and funds can be sent to:

Food Not Bombs
c/o Alternative Bookshop
2035 Boul. St-Laurent,
Montreal, PQ
Canada
H2X 2T3

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