On November 11, Demilitarize McGill held a rally on the sidelines of the Remembrance Day celebrations at McGill, seeking to raise awareness among onlookers of facts about the Canadian military that go unmentioned in the official celebration. Protesters stood in silence, holding posters and refusing to engage with bypassers. Messages on the posters touched on sexual assault in the military, weapons manufacturing, civilian casualty statistics, and torture.
During the demonstration, police officers approached the protesters and asked them to leave. After the demonstrators refused to comply, the police did not press the issue and left the scene.
The protest proved controversial among members of the McGill community, with many saying that the rally was disrespectful and in bad taste.
“The enraged reactions from a number of people lend credibility to our basic claim about Remembrance Day, which is that it is an exercise in selective memory, organized to enforce the forgetting of any element of war that conflicts with the story the Canadian state wants to tell about itself,” Demilitarize McGill wrote of the reaction to the protest in a statement published on the group’s Facebook page.