Mar 5, 2013 / 9:32 pm
Montreal police donned riot gear and moved in to make multiple arrests after an initially peaceful demonstration by Quebec students protesting tuition fee hikes took a destructive turn Tuesday night.
At least one protester and one police officer were injured in the melee. According to police, the demonstrator was injured in the leg by a stun grenade while the officer received a slight injury near an eye from a projectile.
Thousands had turned out to rally against the Quebec government's recent decision to raise fees by three per cent per a year. Many students believe the government should have frozen tuition fees after a summit held last month on education.
What started as a noisy but fairly orderly march began to turn rowdy near Montreal's Convention Centre in the city's Chinatown district late Tuesday night when several bottles and chunks of ice were thrown at police watching the crowd.
Windows were smashed at a bank and a hotel downtown, and police said some protesters had vandalized patrol cars by smashing windows and defacing them with spray paint.
At one point, what appeared to be a flare or a firework was thrown and exploded on the sidewalk.
The situation grew increasingly tense when a riot squad lined up across the street from the protest and began moving in towards the demonstrators.
Officers then charged the crowd while striking their shields.
Police on foot and on horseback moved in on protesters from different sides to disperse the approximately 1,000 demonstrators who remained by the time the protest was brought to an end.
Police confirmed at least three people were arrested Tuesday night. That number was expected to rise as more people were taken into custody.
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