The 15th International Day Against Police Brutality!

COBP, Wednesday, February 2, 2011 - 17:56

Collective Opposed to Police Brutality

Social cleansing: The SPVM’s hands are dirty

  1. Call-out for March 15th, 2011: The 15th International Day Against Police Brutality!
  2. Demands
  3. How to support the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality
  4. Call-out for vigils against police brutality to be held in the month of March
  5. Call-out for contributions to the March 15th newspaper

Social cleansing: The SPVM’s hands are dirty

Call-out for March 15th 2011:
The 15th International Day Against Police Brutality!

Last June, thousands of anti-capitalist activists converged in Toronto to denounce the G20 Summit that was being hosted there. Throughout that weekend, we bore witness to the most extensive campaign of mass arrests and police repression in Canada. In three days, over one thousand people were arbitrarily arrested and detained for several hours, often without charges, in conditions that bordered on torture. On top of this, there were innumerable cases of police brutality throughout the weekend. If these events seem unprecedented in their scope, we should remember that many people experience this kind of violence on a daily basis. The police are, after all, merely an instrument of the State, and therefore part of a dominating, exploitative and oppressive system.

The pernicious effects of policies of a clique like the G20 are felt in our daily lives. It’s the non-unionized employee working at minimum wage, it’s the thousands of ads that we see, it’s the expensive rent that we can never afford to pay, it’s the life on the street. For marginalized people living downtown, these effects are even more tangible. With the complicity between our elected officials and businesspeople, the Montreal police force practices a kind of social profiling that targets homeless folks, street youth and sex workers. The methods used to ‘clean up’ our neighbourhoods -- the imposition of “no-go zones”, mass ticketing for minor infractions, intimidation, harassment, brutal arrests -- in order to facilitate real estate and commercial developments for the well-off are numerous and reprehensible. The construction of the Quartier des spectacles (an entertainment district in east downtown) is a flagrant example of social cleansing that has been orchestrated by businesspeople, with city officials in their back pocket, and that has been carried out by the Montreal Police Force. Marginalised people are no longer welcome in this new gentrified, prestigious, and cleaned-up downtown.

In these “new” sterilised neighbourhoods, the notion of public space is increasingly restrictive for those who live on the street. In addition, the SPVM is not satisfied to simply defend the interests of the rich as a “public service”, but also sells its security services to the highest bidder. In 2009, the auctioning of police officers allowed the SPVM to raise 4.2 million dollars. The retailers at Place Dupuis are among the private enterprises that buy the services of the SPVM in order to increase police presence around that shopping centre. As such, not contented by controlling access to Berri Square through their massive police presence, the SPVM has intensified its clampdown on this part of downtown by selling its services to neighbouring businesses.

And clearly, the ostensible aura of saintliness surrounding the new director of the SPVM, Marc Parent, is not going to change anything. The one who has been hailed as the “Obama” of the police force, because he supposedly comes from a more leftward leaning part of the force, is an ardent support of the Taser1. When it comes to profiling, both Parent and Mayor Tremblay have sanctimoniously publicly stated that they wish to end all types of profiling, yet they continue to leave discriminatory attitudes in place that give rise to repression. If the City and the SPVM really want to attack the phenomenon of social profiling, they would take a position on the recommendations of the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse that appeared in 2009 and that affirm that the criminalization of homeless people is rooted in police practices that are designed to “clean-up” public spaces rather than allowing for the neutral and impartial application of the law.
For the fifteenth year, the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality invites the public to take part in a demonstration on the International Day Against Police Brutality. This year we will take back public space in downtown Montreal! We have had enough of tickets and of being pushed away from our neighbourhoods. This time, we will hold our ground!


We demand :

  • That the SPVM ends all forms of profiling, whether it is social, racial, or political profiling.
  • The recognition of the principle that as long as there is economic inequality, there will be social insecurity.
  • The end of police impunity and abuses
  • That police officers who have committed abuses be judged as any other citizen would be, before an impartial tribunal.
  • The abolition of all by-laws that restrict access to public spaces, including the by-law outlawing dogs in downtown parks.
  • An end to the sale of SPVM services to private interests.

How to support the call by the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality

The success of this demonstration depends on the support and participation of the community. Each year, the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality invites groups to contribute in different ways. This is why we are seeking your group’s support to make this initiative happen. Your support can take many forms:

•A symbolic support of your organisation

•Helping to publicize this event in your networks (outreach materials are available for this purpose)

•Financial support

•By writing an article for the March 15th newspaper (for more information, please read the call-out for contributions further below)

•By organising a vigil against police brutality in the month of March (for more information, please read the call-out for the organisation of a vigil further below)

•Any other kind of contribution would be greatly appreciated!

We thank you for your interest and for your solidarity with the victims of police brutality.

If you have any questions or if you would like to know more about the organisation of this demonstration, please do not hesitate to contact us.

- The Collective Opposed to Police Brutality

Call-out for vigils in the month of March

This year, we are inviting community groups and activists to re-appropriate the International Day Against Police Brutality by organising vigils throughout the month of March. Whether it be to denounce racial, social, or political profiling, or to deplore the inefficiency of recourses for the victims and their families, we hope that different groups will speak up on the issues that affect them in order to harness our collective power against police brutality.

In order to facilitate the mobilisation for these vigils, the COPB commits itself to producing and distributing a calendar of actions organised during the month against police brutality. If you would like your group’s vigil to be mentioned in this guide please send us your information to before February 21st, 2011.
If you have any questions or if you need help organising a vigil, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Call-out for contributions to the March 15th Newspaper

The Collective Opposed to Police Brutality is looking for collaborators to provide texts (between 500 and 1000 words) for a newspaper that will be published a few weeks before the International Day Against Police Brutality held on March 15th.

These texts could relate to the themes or activities that touch on COBP’s work, or could denounce police impunity in whatever corner of the world. Whether it be a testimonial or a commentary, an analysis or an essay, all texts that share the principles and positions of the COBP are welcome.

Help us to inform and raise awareness about the different aspects of police brutality throughout the world. Send your texts to by February 11th, 2011.

Thanks for helping us to make this publication a success and for participating in Montreal’s commemoration of the International Day Against Police Brutality.


CMAQ: Vie associative

Quebec City collective: no longer exist.

Get involved !


Ceci est un média alternatif de publication ouverte. Le collectif CMAQ, qui gère la validation des contributions sur le Indymedia-Québec, n'endosse aucunement les propos et ne juge pas de la véracité des informations. Ce sont les commentaires des Internautes, comme vous, qui servent à évaluer la qualité de l'information. Nous avons néanmoins une Politique éditoriale , qui essentiellement demande que les contributions portent sur une question d'émancipation et ne proviennent pas de médias commerciaux.

This is an alternative media using open publishing. The CMAQ collective, who validates the posts submitted on the Indymedia-Quebec, does not endorse in any way the opinions and statements and does not judge if the information is correct or true. The quality of the information is evaluated by the comments from Internet surfers, like yourself. We nonetheless have an Editorial Policy , which essentially requires that posts be related to questions of emancipation and does not come from a commercial media.