I’d like to report a crime. It happened during the Anti-Police Brutality March in Montreal last Tuesday.
I’m not talking about breaking windows or anything so violent. Instead I’m talking about a crime that is a dire insult to the people of this city. The crime is littering. In particular, horseshit. Horseshit left on the ground in the brand-spanking new Quartier des Spectacles.
While no one can be certain just who’s responsible for leaving this mess, a good guess would be the horses ridden by some members of the Montreal Police Riot Squad. Since horses can’t be held responsible for cleaning up their own mess, it falls to their human companions to pick up after them.
So why did these cops miss so obvious a responsibility? Were their riot helmets on too tight? Maybe they were worried because their commanders had issued an unprecedented statement warning people to stay away from the QDS. Surely upon witnessing the rather calm scene at the beginning of the march they must have realized that the warning was just an elaborate PR stunt by their bosses to minimize the amount of people who might, by accident, see some of the signs condemning the SPVM for brutality and start to question the force.
So how could they have missed such an obvious infraction? Maybe they were preoccupied with the preventative arrests happening just down the street and hoping that they would get away with it like they did during the anti-Charest budget demo. What was their ruse again? Oh yeah, arrest people for breaking a municipal bylaw. Wait, isn’t littering also a municipal bylaw? So I guess that’s not the reason they missed the mess.
Maybe they were thinking about how the march would end and whether or not they’d get an excuse to round up a couple of hundred protesters as they have done several times before. If so, would the mainstream media take the bait? Would they justify the arrests based on windows broken by a few? Would suggestions that the damage was caused by agent provocateurs that came from behind police lines and disappeared again behind those same lines be relegated to activist websites and the twenty-sixth comment from the top under a quite biased CTV article on the event? Well, duh. That’s pretty much a given, so why worry about that when there are turds to be removed from the ground?
So maybe they just didn’t care. After all, when they get away with beating, killing and arresting people for no good reason, what’s a little littering? Or maybe it’s intentional. What better way to show the protesters and the city just who’s in charge than by letting their horses discharge in public and do nothing about it.
Either way, I’d like to report a crime, I’m just not sure who to report it to.
Photos by Jason C. McLean