Demonstrators lit fires and shouted slogans in Old Montreal Sunday evening in defiance of a new 8 p.m.curfew that went into effect to prevent the spread of COVID-19 cases.
A large crowd blocked off a street near Montreal’s Place Jacques-Cartier. Some lit fires in garbage cans, while others set off fireworks and chanted slogans deriding Premier François Legault and demanding more freedom.
Garbage fires were lit at many intersections and protesters picked up what they could find on the street and threw it at store windows, shattering many.
Many of the demonstrators were not wearing masks.
Dozens of police, some in riot gear, arrived on the scene around 8:30 p.m., at which point some protesters began to disperse.
The provincial government announced the earlier curfew on Tuesday. Premier Legault said it was a necessary “preventative” measure to stop people from gathering indoors, and avoid an explosion of COVID-19 cases.
A curfew was first imposed across Quebec on January 9. It required Quebecers across the province to be in their homes from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. unless they had a valid reason to be out.The curfew was later moved back to 9:30 p.m. in some regions, including Montreal.