Hochelaga-Maisonneuve vandalism could be motivated by anti-capitalist sentiment

A wave of vandalism against local businesses in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve neighbourhood appear to be politically motivated, Montreal police say.

At least 3 stores had windows broken, splashed with paint

The Electrik Kidz boutique had almost its entire façade covered in paint. (Ariane St-Pierre Cyr/Facebook)

A wave of vandalism against local businesses in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve neighbourhood may be politically motivated, Montreal police say.

A least three stores had windows smashed or sprayed with paint overnight Thursday to Friday.

Electrik Kidz, a children's clothing store on Sainte-Catherine Street, had almost its entire facade vandalized with blue paint.

The shop's owner, Christian Simard, believes the perpetrators are the same people who left copies of anti-capitalist and anti-gentrification messages in the Préfontaine Metro station.

"During the night of Feb. 25, 2016, some businesses in Hochelaga were attacked… That's because we're mad, tired of businesses which sell, aside from overpriced food and clothes, a life based on work that alienates, bores, and enslaves us", the pamphlet read.

A vegan café and grocery store called Antidote, on Ontario Street, had the glass of its front door broken.

The front glass door of the Antidote vegan café was smashed by a rock. (CBC)

The same happened to restaurant Les Affamés on Sainte-Catherine Street.

"When you're an entrepreneur, you work seven days a week, you try to do something interesting in the neighbourhood, all my clients live in the area… it really hurts. It's as if someone rips a piece from you," said Elise Bellerose, owner of Antidote.

Elise Bellerose says she's not intimidated by the vandalism. (CBC)

Police say it's too early to tie the note to the incidents, but they have suspicions.

Meanwhile, Bellerose says any messages about gentrification's negative impact got lost in the vandalism. She says she has no intention of pulling up stakes, and that she's helping her neighbourhood flourish.

"It's not because of a little rock that I'm going to stop," she said.