A Quebec City “anti-fascist” counter-demonstration turned violent Sunday, and local police were forced to don riot gear to quell the public disturbance.
The demonstrators — heavily bussed in from Montreal — were countering an earlier protest by a Quebec group calling itself La Meute, who opposed the mass of illegal refugees entering Canada at the Quebec-New York border
The “far right” marchers allegedly didn’t even make it a block along the planned march before being overwhelmed by the counter-demonstrators who wore black clothing and masks to hide their identities.
Some threw beer bottles and other projectiles — including fireworks and deck furniture — at police and La Meute members.
The counter-protesters reportedly even assaulted journalists recording the event and tried to take over an underground parking garage in order to plan an assault on police, but they were blocked from entering the building.
The police eventually declared the counter-protest illegal and escorted the La Meute demonstrators past Quebec’s National Assembly building.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dismissed the right-wing group as a “small minority of racists” earlier in the afternoon while in attendance at the Montreal gay pride parade. He also addressed the nearly 4,000 illegal refugees crossing the border in August alone. Trudeau told reporters that refugees must go through a “rigorous” vetting process.
La Meute declared victory later on Sunday, saying they remained calm and disciplined despite being physically attacked by the “anti-fascists.”
“We made our point. I really believe this day will be the day La Meute gets out peacefully, just to the show the people what we really are,” one of the organization’s founders Patrick Beaudry stated.
As the group marched they chanted “We are La Meute” and “Long live La Meute.”
Editor’s note: This story incorrectly stated that Trudeau told reporters that Canadians should “trust” the refugee process. That was not a direct quote from Trudeau, and it has been removed.