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Original posted to Facebook on Sunday, June 10. Because I don’t have permission to include the person’s name, I’ve cut it out, though in the original he signed it.
“I was just arrested by the police, given a ticket because I didn’t have the light I’m supposed to have (it was broken and in my pocket: I showed it to them). I was then told it was “better to shut your mouth when you’re wearing a red square. The cop TRUDEAU (blonde, paunchy, aggressive, earring on the left side) then arrested—violently—one passer-by who asked what was going on and refused to identify himself (it’s his right if he’s not suspect of an infraction) and they left with the guy after giving me my ticket.
One of the guy’s friends asked just before what the laws for bikes were, in order to make sure he wasn’t breaking any rules, and was told, “shut your hole and go home.”
All of this took place in an atmosphere of free, drooling, provocative intimidation from the cop and left me believing that the denigration into political profiling is truly growing.
I’m absolutely certain I was the object of police abuse in a state becoming, I’m very much afraid, more and more policed.
Attention, dignified and respectable citizens, the time is now for this to overflow toward those who believe in common good and mutual assistance.”
Catherine Lalonde & Raphaël Dallaire-Ferland
Are the identity checks in the metro for wearers of red squares we’ve been hearing about since the beginning of Montreal’s Grand Prix real? Are those who show their opposition to the tuition hike now getting searched, taken to the nearest police station, as people have been saying on social networks for the last few hours? Saturday, two journalist from the Devoir tried to bring the situation to light by putting red squares on their chests before going into the metro station. The result? They were soon questioned and held for investigation. “We do just that, criminal profiling,” a Service de police de la ville de Montréal (SPVM) agent then said while searching our journalists.
Saturday, 1:50 PM: under the bright sun, the journalists Raphaël Dallaire Ferland and Catherine Lalonde meet up at Place Émilie-Gamelin. Carrying backpacks, they each put on a red square, she adds a black one. He wears a red scarf around his neck, loosely, that leaves his face bare. She carries two big white pieces of cardboard. Signs? Not even, not posters either. Just two big blank pieces of cardboard. Off to Berri-UQAM station.
In the metro, before getting to the platform, Raphaël gets stopped. Four police officers ask to search his pack “for security reasons.” The SPVM officers are polite. “We’re searching everyone,” says Agent Norbert, “because yesterday people threw flaming beer bottles at us. We even searched a guy with a hockey bag.” Yet Catherine passed without a problem.
On the platform, a few minutes later, our journalists, still unidentified, ask a half-dozen people, of all ages, carrying bigger bags than theirs, if they got searched. Five say no. The only one who had the same experience is a young man, twenty-something, who was wearing a red square when he was intercepted.