Thousands protest pandemic health measures in Montreal

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People take part in a demonstration to oppose government restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Montreal, Saturday. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press - image credit)
People take part in a demonstration to oppose government restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Montreal, Saturday. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Montreal police say they handed out 144 tickets and made 10 arrests during a protest Saturday against COVID-19 lockdown measures imposed by the Quebec government.

Police say the arrests were made for obstruction, possession of a firearm, assault and assault on a police officer.

The tickets were handed out to those not wearing a mask at the demonstration, which drew several thousand people.

Protesters assembled around 12:30 p.m. at the intersection of McGill College and Sherbrooke Street, not far from the Montreal office of Premier François Legault.

A woman is detained by police during a demonstration opposing government restrictions.
A woman is detained by police during a demonstration opposing government restrictions.(Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

"From the beginning, we had police officers who intervened, made arrests and gave out fines for violation of health measures," said Montreal police spokesperson Manuel Couture.

As protesters moved through the streets they chanted slogans of "Liberty" and "Legault in prison."

While the march was mostly peaceful, police say some protesters threw projectiles at officers as the event was winding down.

Police confirm they used pepper spray to push back and disperse the small group.