Montreal police ordered hundreds of protesters to disperse this evening after declaring a demonstration against the province's higher education summit illegal.

According to police, the protest that has been snaking through downtown since this afternoon was declared illegal because the route wasn't provided in advance, a requirement of a municipal bylaw.

Police later said projectiles were launched in their direction and some flags had been removed from downtown hotels.

Initially, police said two people were arrested for armed assault during the protest. Later, they confirmed only one arrest was made. No details of the circumstances surrounding that arrest have been released.  

Two people were fined – one for refusing to disperse and another for putting stickers on a building.

The protest was largely peaceful.

Police issued the dispersal order just before 6:30 p.m. to protesters gathered at Ste-Catherine and McGill streets. By 7 p.m., the majority of the protesters had left.

Protesters started gathering earlier this afternoon in Cabot Square, located about 1.5 kilometres from the site of the educational summit.

Once the demonstration started moving, police forced protesters east and away from L'Arsenal, the warehouse gallery in Montreal's Griffintown neighbourhood where the summit is taking place.

The long-anticipated event started this morning. Quebec Premier Pauline Marois and Higher Education Minister Pierre Duchesne say they hope the forum will help put to rest the issues at the core of last spring's student crisis. About 350 people from a number of different organizations are attending the meeting.

Demonstrators told CBC's French language service they want a larger debate, saying the two-day summit won't be sufficient.

MNAs offices targeted by vandals

Earlier today, several buildings were vandalized, including the office of Minister of Higher Education Pierre Duchesne and the office of former student leader turned MNA, Léo Bureau-Blouin. Both buildings were doused in red paint.

Vandals wrote in white outside the offices of the minister responsible for Montreal, Jean-François Lisée. Several windows were also broken. Walls and windows at the Education Ministry's building on Fullum Street were also a target of vandals.

No arrests have been made in those incidents.

The summit continues Tuesday.