Montreal student protest march declared illegal

Montreal police twice declared a march by protesting students illegal in downtown Montreal Thursday night.
Students march through a rainy downtown Montreal Thursday night. (CBC)

Montreal police declared a march by protesting students illegal, less than an hour after the demonstration began Thursday night.

About 200 students left Parc Emilie-Gamelin at about 9 p.m. Thursday in the latest protest against Quebec's planned tuition hikes. The protesters quickly encountered police barricades, and police said projectiles were thrown at officers.

A second group of students began legally marching a few blocks north of the original group shortly after, and many joined both marches as they moved through downtown Montreal. In total, about 2,000 students marched in downtown Montreal Thursday night despite rainy weather, largely without incident.

However, many students returned to the square where the march began later Thursday night, where police once again declared their protest illegal. Shortly after, Montreal police said on the force's Twitter account that they were asking protesting students to cease throwing pyrotechnic devices.

Student groups were particularly motivated to demonstrate Thursday after the provincial government rejected a new round of discussions over access to post-secondary education. Student groups have vowed to protest every night until talks resume.

Thursday's march was initiated on the Facebook page of the Collège Édouard-Montpetit students association.

Montreal Police said two arrests were made.