Protest, Riots & Raids

Montreal Raids

On the night of Oct. 22, 1977, Montreal police raided Truxx and Le Mystique, two gay bars on Stanley St. This raid was more of a military operation then a normal police intervention: 50 police officers, wearing bulletproof vests with guns (including machine guns) drawn, went in and arrested 146 patrons, all homosexual men, as part of what was at the time the biggest mass arrest since Trudeau had declared the “War Measures Act” during the October Crisis.

The men who were arrested were crowded into holding cells for more than eight hours, and forced to take venereal disease tests. They were also forbidden from calling their lawyers.

The very next day, 2,000 people took to the streets, blocking the corners of Ste. Catherine St. W. and Stanley St. to protest what had happened on the previous night. Police and protestors naturally clashed. In an effort to get the crowd to disperse, police rode their motorcycles into the crowd, clubbing protestors, who in turn threw beer bottles at the police.

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