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

Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wes Barker, second from left, with fellow Big Trick Energy show performers on “Ellen,” in video posted to youtube.com.
VIDEO: On ‘Ellen,’ former Langley man works magic with new ‘Big Trick Energy’ gang

A decade ago, Wes Barker quit his job with the City of Surrey to do magic professionally

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020.   THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More Langley-area business closed due to COVID-19

Any business with three or more cases among employees can be closed

Vancouver Giants victorious over the Royals in Kamloops Thursday, April 15. The G-Men won, 4-0. (Allen Douglas/Special to Black Press Media)
VIDEO: Giants young goalie shutouts Victoria, 4-0

The Langley-based WHL team earn another victory over the Royals Thursday in Kamloops

Critter Care’s first ever 50/50 winner is Kim Madill, who took home $28,852.50. (Critter Care/Special to The Star)
Winner takes home $28,852.50 through Critter Care’s first virtual 50/50

Kim Madill instantly donated part of the funds to the Langley-based wildlife society

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is moving forward on efforts to help citizens of Hong Kong remain in Canada rather than have to return. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Painful Truth: Canada’s immigration hopes may not be enough in post-COVID world

In a world of declining birth rates and rising wealth, where do new Canadians come from?

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Nick Warmerdam and his dog Diesel are inviting locals to check out the Lakeland Farm U-pick Flower Farm this spring. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
VIDEO & SLIDESHOW: Abbotsford’s Lakeland Flowers opens for spring

Tulip farm attraction opened on April 14, open to the public daily seven days a week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

The female driver of this Jeep Grand Cherokee (right) was driving erratically with a young child inside on Highway 1 eastbound. After hitting a barrier and a parked car, she finally exited the highway at Yale Road West and came to a stop. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Video captures woman driving erratically with child after hitting barrier, car on Hwy 1 in Chilliwack

Smoke seen coming from SUV as it continues to travel eastbound of shoulder of highway

Former Pitt Meadows city councillor David Murray was convicted of sex assault, and is now being sued by the victim. (files)
Former Pitt Meadows city councillor sued for sex assault

David Murray was convicted in 2017 of sexually assaulting a teen 25 years earlier

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

Most Read