Cops, protesters clash

Quebec City police in riot gear clashed with protesters on Sunday as a counter demonstration that was organized in opposition to a planned right-wing event turned violent.

Several hundred people gathered around a building to oppose a gathering planned by La Meute, a group considered close to the far right.

Masked members of the counter protest could be seen throwing beer bottles at police officers who were trying to keep them away from the building where some of the La Meute protesters had taken refuge.

Fireworks were thrown and smoke bombs were placed in garbage cans as other clashes between police and demonstrators took place on nearby streets.

Police said on Twitter that the event was eventually declared illegal due to "acts of violence and vandalism."

While the situation seemed to have calmed down by 3 p.m., tensions flared an hour later.

The group was there to counter a rally organized by right-wing groups who are opposed to the flow of asylum seekers crossing the border from the United States.

La Meute said earlier this week that their gathering was to protest the policies of the federal and Quebec governments in the face of "the scourge of illegal immigration" and to call for more resources for officials at the border.

The counter-protest was organized by anti-fascist and pro-refugee groups after at least two Quebecers were identified participating in a white supremacist rally earlier this month in Charlottesville, Va.

One of them, outed as a member of La Meute, was suspended from the group pending an investigation.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard took to social media to condemn what he called the "violence and intimidation" of the situation.

"We are living in a democracy where respect must be the norm and not the exception," he wrote on his Twitter account.

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