Last night, things got way out of control. There was a small group of trouble makers who were doing everything they could to get the police’s attention – they succeeded. To make matters worse, the crowd was supporting the instigators rather than denouncing it. The regular police force arrived first, and had to deal with barricades of pylons and road signs left by the students to block emergency vehicles.
These police tried to get things under control, and failed miserably. They were out numbered and had no support from anyone – their presence was not welcome, despite the fact that some of the instigators set a pile of pylons on fire.
Behind me, I heard the sound of someone pounding on a car. It was another instigator smashing the windows of what appeared at first glance to be the car of a civilian. This was unusual, since the protesters seemed to go out of their way to avoid disrupting civilians and damaging their property.
Upon closer inspection, it was clear that this was a police car that was filming everything that was going on (this still doesn’t justify the vandalism, obviously).
The police were fairly wreckless in how they drove in, smashing through barricades at fairly high speeds even with civilians very close to them. There were a number of close calls. They also left vehicles unattended, with doors open and the engines running. I’m surprised they weren’t taken for a joy ride. One cop left the lights on in his truck and drained the batteries, so it needed a boost. They were taunted and mocked by people standing by (including protesters and just passers by). Clearly, the police had lost the support of the majority of people who were witnessing the events unfolding – most of whom were not participants, but merely there taking part in the normal Montreal night life.