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Anti-capitalism May Day protest in Montreal declared illegal

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Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/anti-capitalism-may-day-protest-in-montreal-declared-illegal-1.3058316

Police and protesters clashed in downtown Montreal at a nighttime protest organized by the anti-capitalism group CLAC.

Hundreds of people gathered at at least three different locations around the city, well before the protests officially got underway at 7 p.m. ET.  

The anti-capitalism group called on protesters to cause the "maximum disruption possible" to businesses downtown. 

However, the majority of the crowd were people carrying anti-austerity messages with no intention of vandalism or violence.

By 7:10 p.m., police had already declared the demonstrations illegal and began ordering protesters to disperse.

As demonstrators moved up McGill College Avenue from de Maisonneuve Boulevard, police began launching rounds of tear gas.

Black Block protesters headed to Bell Centre

About 60 protesters dressed entirely in black are heading to the Bell Centre after CLAC called on its members to assemble at 9:30 p.m.

The Montreal Canadiens are playing the first game in its series against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Bell Centre. The game was expected to end at 9:30 p.m., but was forced into overtime by a third period Habs goal. 

Radio-Canada is reporting a significant police presence at the Bell Centre in advance of the game ending.

Children among those gassed 

Families and bystanders were among those gassed earlier in the night. One woman said she brought her family to the protest thinking it would be peaceful. 

"Suddenly, there was tear gas all around us," the woman, who did not give her name, said, as one of her children cried in the background.

"We have a baby with us."

Montreal police Sgt. Laurent Gingras said it's regrettable that families were caught in the fray, but he said police warned people to leave the area before firing rounds of tear gas.

Gingras said he hopes protesters leave the downtown area before the Montreal Canadiens game at the Bell Centre, currently underway, ends and encouraged those at home to stay out of the area.

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