Bus of McGill-Concordia students arrested

Protest outside Liberal Party general council clashes with Sûreté du Québec

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This story is in development. Follow @tonyleco, @delitfrancais, and @mcgilldailynews for updates. 

Busloads of protesters traveled to Victoriaville, Quebec, arriving in the city this afternoon. Provincial police force Sûreté du Québec (SQ) had secured the perimeter of the hotel in which the general council took place.

Reports from the scene state that protesters pushed through barriers and threw projectiles at police lines. Rubber bullets, CS gas, and smoke grenades were deployed by the SQ. Ambulances were called to the scene, and at least five protesters were admitted to the hospital. Radio-Canada video footage also shows one police officer being hit by protesters. According to The Montreal Gazette, an SQ spokesperson reported earlier this evening that there were 11 injuries; 7 protesters and 4 police officers.

Around 9 p.m., Concordia campus television station CUTV ended their live broadcast stating that the protestors were dispersing. Busloads of protesters began leaving the city; based on reports from Le Délit’s reporter on the ground, a bus carrying McGill and Concordia students was the last to leave. The bus was escorted back to Victoriaville by police, and passengers were placed under arrest. The passengers allegedly under arrest are unable to be contacted, but include two journalists from Le Délit and The Link.

Students at the nightly demonstration in Montreal held a solidarity sit-in on Mont Royal and St. Denis for those who were arrested in Victoriaville.

An SQ officer who spoke with The Link confirmed that three buses had been arrested. The passengers were being taken off the buses in pairs, identified and questioned. The officer said that most would be eventually released, but it could be “some hours.” He said that he believed most would be charged, but could not specify what the charges would be. Those charged, he said, would be released and required to appear in court at a later date.

Unconfirmed reports of two buses returning from Victoriaville being stopped and their passengers arrested. One bus is reported to near Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM); the second bus is reported to be near in Rosemont.

– with files from Riley Sparks