Montreal protest turns violent

MONTREAL — Riot police are beating back protesters at the Montreal Convention Centre after demonstrators tried to disrupt a speech by Premier Jean Charest.

Stun grenades, pepper spray and batons were being used against them. At least one student was injured.

About 1,000 protesters had broken windows and stormed the Convention Centre around noon.

The tactic appears to have been co-ordinated with a similar action at the Chateau Champlain hotel, where Immigration Minister Jason Kenney was scheduled to give a speech at 1 p.m. about the government’s immigration reforms.

Student protesters, many of them masked, appeared to be behind the protests.

At the hotel, about 20 protesters threw themselves against the glass doors leading into the conference room as several hotel workers and security guards tried to hold them back. Eventually, all the protesters barged through, ran into the conference room and sat down on the stage where Kenney was scheduled to speak.

Before police arrived, the protesters ran through the conference room kitchen and out a back exit.

Two women protesters told QMI Agency outside the hotel they wanted to prevent Kenney from speaking because the government’s refugee policies were “anti-gay and racist.”

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