Far-right groups, counter-protesters clash in Quebec City
Members of Quebec’s far-right are clashing with anti-racism activists this afternoon in Quebec City.
La Meute organized a march to call for stronger border controls amid a sharp increase in the number of asylum seekers crossing illegally into Quebec from the U.S.
Anti-racism activists in the province accuse La Meute and other allied groups, of advocating xenophobic policies, and have scheduled a demonstration of their own.
There were already clashes between the two sides ahead of La Meute’s planned 2 p.m. demonstration.
Following last weekend’s violent demonstration by white nationalists in Charlottesville, VA., several Quebec politicians, including Premier Philippe Couillard, openly criticized La Meute’s intentions.
‘Small minority of racists’: Trudeau
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in Montreal for the Pride Parade, also condemned the Quebec City demonstration, organized by what he described as a “small minority of racists.”
“We all know that Canadians and Quebecers are not represented by that minority,” he said. “We’re open, respectful and compassionate people.”
At least two members of the far-right group acknowledged taking part in the Charlottesville, Va., demonstration, though the group has distanced itself from last weekend’s events.
Sunday’s demonstrations come at a critical moment in Quebec politics. The governing Liberals have lost ground in recent polls to the conservative Coalition Avenir Quebec, whose leader has called for a more restrictive approach to immigration.
- ‘It disgusts me’: Politicians condemn far-right rally planned in Quebec City this weekend
- RCMP intercepts 3,800 asylum seekers in first 2 weeks of August
Couillard’s government, meanwhile, is attempting to reassure Quebecers the province can handle the sudden jump in asylum seeker crossing the border.
The next provincial election is slated for fall 2018.
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