Montreal | Pro-Palestinian sit-in in Scotiabank offices, 45 people arrested

Several dozen people were arrested Monday on the sidelines of a pro-Palestinian “sit-in” at the Scotiabank offices in downtown Montreal. Police say they had to forcibly evict protesters who refused to leave.

From the start of the day, Monday, around forty people entered the bank located at the corner of Sherbrooke and Metcalfe streets. The group notably called for a boycott of Scotiabank, which it accuses of “financing the genocide in Gaza”, by investing significantly in the Israeli arms firm Elbit.

This is not the first time that company premises have been occupied for this reason. This was also the case last November, in Toronto.

More recently, in March, the Financial Post reported that Scotiabank reduced its financial stake in Elbit from 5.1% to 4.3%. The establishment nevertheless remains to this day the largest non-Israeli shareholder.

The Montreal City Police Service (SPVM) claims to have carried out an operation to “expel the demonstrators who refused to leave the premises”, after a request to this effect by the person in charge of the building. This forced the closure of traffic on a section of Sherbrooke Street.

This operation ended around 4 p.m. “In total, there were 45 arrests under the Criminal Code for committing misdemeanors under $5,000. All the demonstrators who were arrested were released, and they should all eventually appear in court,” said agent Caroline Chèvrefils, spokesperson for the SPVM, on Monday.

She specified that no citizen or police officer was injured during the event. The latter took place while a demonstration was taking place nearby, outside, in front of the American Consulate General, on Sainte-Catherine Street.

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