NEWS

Montreal St. Patrick's Day parade underway

03/22/2015 12:07 EDT | Updated 05/22/2015 05:59 EDT
Tens of thousands of Montrealers are lining Ste-Catherine Street West today for the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Security will be tighter than usual, however, with police on the lookout for anti-police brutality protesters.

The group organizing the protest passed around an online invitation to "St-Patrak" and asked its participants to wear green. Protests organized in the past by le Collectif opposé à la brutalité policière have often ended in confrontations with the police.

Parade spokesman Kevin Murphy said police officers and security agents will be posted all along Ste-Catherine Street.

The parade was originally supposed to take place last weekend but was rescheduled after discovering the annual protest against police brutality was happening the same day.

That protest ended up being short-lived after immediately being declared illegal.

Murphy said protesters posted online that they would not interfere with the parade, but it remained a cause for concern for a couple of participants who decided to pull out at the last minute.

"Yes, there will be a demonstration in the downtown," Murphy said. "But it’s not against us, it’s not against the spectators, it’s not against families, so police and [Mayor Denis] Coderre said there would be zero destruction."

The 192nd annual St. Patrick’s Day parade is considered one of the best in North America. About 3,000 people participate, attracting upwards of 200,000 revellers.

The parade kicks off at noon at Fort and Ste-Catherine streets and ends at Phillips Square.

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