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'Notre boulot, c'est la répression'

Report from the Montreal Forum Against Police Brutality & Impunity

by David and Candice (CKUT Montreal)

The words of Yves Francoeur, the president of Montreal's Fraternity of Police, still resonate in the streets of Montreal. 'Notre boulot... c'est la répression.'

In other words, repression is a police officer's job. Coming from one of Montreal's top brass, that's no joke.

Francoeurs' words were noted on the flyers that advertised Montreal's first Forum Against Police Violence and Impunity, a weekend long event that took place at the end of January this year, in the neighbourhood of Park Extension.

The Forum came with the memory of Fredy Villanueva still fresh.

Villanueva was the immigrant youth of eighteen who, unarmed, was shot dead by Montreal policeman Jean-Loup Lapointe in August 2008.

His death caused outrage among residents of Montreal-North, a poor neighbourhood populated heavily by immigrants. Rioting continued for days after Villanueva's death, recalling the unrest that exploded in the ghettos of Paris in October 2005.

Observers have criticized the ongoing inquest into Villanueva's death, calling it marred by bias, as the police are tasked with investigating their collegues.

Activists opposed to police brutality are saying that the police have become de facto street judges, with the power to convict and execute their suspects on sight.

With a view to amplifying the voices of those dealing with -- and organizing against -- police violence and impunity, CKUT brings you this report.

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