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Far right groups, opponents clash at Montreal protest against federal Islamophobia motion

cbc.ca logo cbc.ca 2017-03-04 CBC News
The Montreal 'clan' of La Meute protests the anti-Islamophobia motion, M-103, in the streets as they make their way to city hall. Jonathan Montpetit/CBC © Copyright: (C) Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, http://www.cbc.ca/aboutcbc/discover/termsofuse.htm... The Montreal 'clan' of La Meute protests the anti-Islamophobia motion, M-103, in the streets as they make their way to city hall. Jonathan Montpetit/CBC

A heavy police presence is in place today for a Montreal protest led by far right groups opposed to a federal government motion condemning Islamophobia. 

Riot police stand between far right protesters and their opponents in front Montreal's city hall on Saturday. Jonathan Montpetit / CBC © Copyright: (C) Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, http://www.cbc.ca/aboutcbc/discover/termsofuse.htm... Riot police stand between far right protesters and their opponents in front Montreal's city hall on Saturday. Jonathan Montpetit / CBC

Tensions between far right protesters and opponents quickly flared as the march set off from Place É​milie-Gamelin to Montreal City Hall, resulting in scuffles and at least one bloody nose.

More scuffles broke out after the march reached city hall, where the number of protesters on both sides swelled.

Around 100 protesters representing a far right group called La Meute are taking part in the protest. They were joined by about 100 others when they reached city hall. 

Opposing them are around 100 representatives of anti-fascist groups carrying signs saying "Make racists afraid again" and chanting "Immigrants in, fascists out."

Police in riot gear are trying to keep the two groups apart. 

La Meute says the federal motion M-103 restricts free speech. The group has also expressed concern that the motion could open the door to Sharia law in Canada.

The Montreal protest is part of country-wide protests today against M-103, which is currently before the House of Commons.

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