Update from Montreals Tent City: Riot police evict Tent City; several reported arrests

MONTREAL, July 6, 2003 (2:57am) Riot police evicted hundreds of participants at Montreals Tent City inside Parc Lafontaine shortly after 12:30am this morning. At least 40 riot police were already placed inside the large park, and using floodlights in the dark, they proceeded to push back Tent City participants with shields and batons. Many people scrambled to gather their belongings, including their tents and tarps, while others maintained a line in front of the riot police, chanting defiant slogans in defence of the Tent City. At least four people were arrested inside the park. According to one legal team member, at least 12 people were arrested in total.

In one reported incident, two members of an activist video collective were arrested as they intervened as police attempted to arrest a mother sleeping in a car with her sleeping young child.

Most tent city participants have regrouped and gathered in the parking area of the Comite Social, a community center in the Centre-Sud neighbourhood and home to the Comite des sans-emploi, one of the co-organizers of todays Tent City. Earlier this evening, several hours before the police intervention, a general assembly was held at the Tent City site, with over 100 people participating. Participants voted overwhelmingly to stay at the Tent City site past the midnight deadline given by the police, and also return again to Parc Lafontaine on Sunday, to resume the Tent City, and to continue a program of pre-planned workshops, activities and communal meals. Some Tent City participants vowed to return every day next week, and stay every night until the police evictions at midnight.

One Montreal municipal councillor, Nicolas Tetrault, was on-hand to defend the police action, and insist that the municipal by-laws that force parks to close at midnight was justified, despite the housing crisis. The councillor, who was denounced as a yuppie by bystanders, was forced to leave the scene.

A previous article about the Tent City is included below.

A Quicktime movie about the squat, by Kevin Walsh, is linked at:


The Tent City website is at: http://tentcity.taktic.org

[by Jaggi Singh, for act-mtl, Indymedia Montreal and CMAQ]


Jaggi Singh <jaggi [at] tao [dot] ca>