Montreal police made a series of searches and arrests in connection with disruptive protests, and those detained included the daughter of an elected politician.
Amir Khadir, the sole elected member of the left-wing party Quebec solidaire, confirmed that his 19-year-old daughter was among those arrested Thursday.
Before breakfast, police entered the family’s downtown home as one of eight searches around the city. Police officers were asked to do the polite thing as guests — and take off their shoes, Mr. Khadir said — but they refused the request from his spouse and walked in.
Four out of 11 people being sought Thursday were arrested. Charges to be laid will vary. They include mischief, break and enter, conspiracy, and the serious crime of committing a terrorist hoax which carries a maximum five-year prison sentence.
It was unclear what charges Mr. Khadir’s daughter, Yalda Machouf-Khadir, might face. Her arrest came just two days after the politician was himself arrested, and released with a fine.
Mr. Khadir had compared his own act, of blocking a street during a protest, to the campaigns of civil disobedience waged by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. As police officers entered the family home Thursday morning, they walked past a sign on the balcony that said: “When injustice becomes the law, resistance becomes a duty.”
Mr. Khadir told reporters in Quebec City that the episode was disturbing. However, he avoided launching into a legal defence when asked about his daughter’s case.
“As any citizen who’s been arrested, bothered, billy-clubbed, lost an eye, imprisoned, intimidated in all sorts of ways, yes, it’s very troubling,” Mr. Khadir said.
“But everyone is equal before the law. If reprehensible acts were committed by my daughter, or by anyone else, they need to answer for their acts and the police will do its job.”
Thursday’s police operation was aimed at cracking down on people who helped paralyze the Montreal subway system on two occasions, and who vandalized the office of former education minister Line Beauchamp.
In April, various objects were tossed on metro tracks, slowing down service, and smoke bombs were used to shut down the system one morning in May.
No names were being released by police; those arrested will appear in court Friday.
The arrests come just as Montreal’s four-day Formula One weekend kicks off, with protesters promising to disrupt parties and events related to the glitzy race. One protest is actually scheduled to take place inside the metro, on the subway line leading to the track on the day of the race.
Some supporters of the protests quipped on social media that perhaps the arrests were timed to scare people away from wrecking the weekend events.
Premier Jean Charest avoided wading in when asked about the arrests.
“I don’t want to comment on these things,” Mr. Charest said. “Police do their work, and procedures get followed.”
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