03/15/2012 06:20 EDT | Updated 05/15/2012 05:12 EDT

Montreal Police On Alert For Anti-Brutality March


Montreal police have ordered protesters at an annual march against brutality to disperse, with riot officers charging the crowd as some demonstrators threw rocks.

At least 1,000 people showed up at the Berri metro station Thursday for the annual anti-police brutality march.

Police in riot gear ordered demonstrators to respect the law and move with traffic flow, and monitored the march from horseback, in some cases.

Authorities declared the march illegal shortly after 6:30 p.m. and ordered people to disperse.

Some protesters threw projectiles, while police sprayed chemical irritants.

Earlier in the evening, a group of protesters blocked the Concorde Bridge, near the Casino, for several minutes.

The event, in its 16th year, often ends in confrontation between protesters and police, as well as arrests. In 2011, 258 people were arrested.

Police explain tactics

In an unusual move, police invited media to their headquarters on Wednesday, to discuss tactics used to break up demonstrations.

Montreal authorities have been criticized in recent months for being heavy-handed during rolling student protests held throughout the city.

Protests are being staged almost every day, as part of Quebec's widespread student movement against tuition increases.