294 people arrested at Montreal protest

March 23, 2013 at 11:37 AM
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MONTREAL, March 23 (UPI) -- Police in Montreal arrested 294 people during a protest marking the one-year anniversary of a massive student rally over tuition increases, officials said.

The Friday evening protest was broken up by police at about 6:30 p.m., CBC News reported.

Most of those who were arrested were fined $654 for walking against the designated flow of traffic and then released, authorities said. No one was kept in custody.

Sgt. Jean Bruno Latour, spokesman for Montreal police, said people's right to protest is being respected, but that "all protests have to remain peaceful and respectful of all citizens."

Protesters criticized the police force's handling of the rally, saying authorities demanded that they disperse shortly after the protest began.

"They cut the protests after five minutes. We don't even have the time to express ourselves. It's ridiculous. They arrest people when there are no offences. I'm disgusted," said a woman at the protest.

Friday's protest was to mark the anniversary of last year's protest that saw tens of thousands of people gather in the streets across Quebec against the former Charest government's planned tuition increase.

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