Skip to main content

People attend a demonstration in Montreal, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, where they protested to defund the police with a goal to end all systemic racism within all sectors of the Canadian government.

Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Protesters in Montreal toppled and defaced a statue of John A. Macdonald at the end of a demonstration calling on cities to defund police departments.

A spokesman for the Montreal police confirmed the statue of Canada’s first prime minister was unbolted, pulled down and sprayed with graffiti at around 2:45 p.m.

Jean-Pierre Brabant said police were on hand but did not intervene other than to ask the crowd to disperse on a loudspeaker.

Story continues below advertisement

No arrests were made.

The incident came at the end of a peaceful protest in which police estimate some 200 people marched to call for police defunding as part of what they called a nationwide day of action.

Images from the event show a crowd of protesters marching in the rain under umbrellas and carrying signs demanding change.

The organizers, who call themselves the Coalition for BIPOC Liberation, are asking for cities to reduce their police budgets by 50 per cent.

They say the diverted funds could be used to invest in alternatives to policing such as better mental health treatment, civilian conflict resolution services, and trauma-based emergency services.

Calls to withdraw funding from police forces have multiplied in both Canada and the United States in recent months after the death of George Floyd during a police stop in Minnesota.

Organizers said protests were also scheduled to take place in Toronto, London, Montreal, Fredericton, Moncton and Halifax.

Story continues below advertisement

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Follow related topics

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies