NEWS

Commercial Drive turns into massive, unsanctioned party

05/02/2015 09:04 EDT | Updated 05/02/2016 05:12 EDT
Hundreds of people descended on Commercial Drive in Vancouver, Friday night, for what turned into a massive unsanctioned street party. 

The event was started by anti-capitalist organizers to mark May Day, or International Workers' Day. A post online said the event would be an "anti-authoritative party to celebrate this city's grassroots resistance to gentrification, capitalism, and pipelines!"

The party began as a barbecue in Grandview Park, but as more and more revellers arrived, the event spilled onto the street. 

Vancouver Police shut Commercial Drive down to traffic from 1st Avenue to Venables Street and allowed the party to take over the street. Some were calling it the Commercial Drive "car free night," referring to the popular Car Free Day hosted in the neighbourhood each summer. 

Police kept a close watch, pouring out open liquor, and assisting with several medical emergencies.

At about 1 a.m., PT, dozens of officers moved in on Grandview Park, shut down the DJ's sound system and ordered the crowd of people dancing to disperse. They were jeered, but most people moved on peacefully.

Meanwhile in Montreal, police arrested 84 people, including 27 on criminal charges, and used tear gas to disperse demonstrators at downtown protest organized by a local anti-capitalist group called CLAC. 

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