Monday, August 11, 2008

La haine

Saturday evening at Parc Henri Bourassa some kids were playing dice when two police officers showed up and started acting aggressive. The police singled out one of the kids and threw him to the ground to arrest him. The other kids got closer to the cops and started yelling, one of the cops opened fire, killing 18-year-old Freddy Villanueva and wounding two other kids. None of the kids were armed.

Yesterday a mass of people gathered at Parc Henri Bourassa to protest the police violence and the death of Freddy Villanueva. Police showed up and things turned ugly. A riot ensued, fires were set and buildings vandalized. This all took place in Montreal North, an extremely poor area, home to many immigrants, mainly Haitian.

The shit's hitting the fan in this city. This it what it looks like when a city keeps its immigrants poor, angry and continually harassed by the police.

The Villanuevas immigrated from Honduras in 1998, living in Montreal North before moving to Longueuil and, eventually, to a house in Repentigny. Yesterday, they said their faith in their adoptive country had been shaken to its core.

"We thought we were going to be better off," Julissa said. "We thought there was justice here. We thought the police were supposed to protect us."


ostap said...

Hello, Mathew

Do you know somebody who took part or witnessed the riots and would agree to give some comments for media?

Matthew said...

Not that I'm aware of, no. We lead insular lives over here downtown.