Many arrested protesting Canadian GP

Many arrested protesting Canadian GP

Published Jun. 10, 2012 1:00 a.m. ET

At least 25 people were arrested Saturday night as riot police clashed with protesters in Montreal, trapping thousands of revelers enjoying the festivities for this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix.

Around 600 university students protesting against plans to raise tuition fees began to march on the downtown grand prix street circuit at around 9:00pm local time, Montreal's The Gazette reported.

Protesters managed to force their way toward Crescent St., a strip of restaurants and bars that form the hub the weekend's racing party.

Bottles and other missiles were thrown at officers and several police cars had windows smashed or were vandalized.


Riot officers responded with pepper spray and charged at the protesters, but they were unable to disperse the crowd.

Police reported that by 11:00pm local time they made 25 arrests, and said they expected that number to grow as the night wore on.

There were no reports of injuries, the Gazette reported.

Despite the violence unfolding nearby, Crescent St.'s restaurants and bars remained packed with revelers.

"I was excited about the rioting," a tourist named Jim told the Gazette. "I'm from New York. It doesn't frighten me at all. It's just like [Occupy Wall Street], but on a smaller scale."

The student protests began in February and violent clashes have seen dozens injured across the province of Quebec. During mass protests on May 23, police made around 700 arrests, more than 500 of them in Montreal.

Students have been demonstrating against government plans to raise college tuition costs.

Talks between the two sides broke down last week and student leaders vowed to target the grand prix.