International Day Against Police Brutality

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Montreal, 2016. 2016 International Day Against Police Brutality Protest Montreal.jpg
Montreal, 2016.

The International Day Against Police Brutality occurs on March 15. It first began in 1997 as an initiative of the Montreal-based Collective Opposed to Police Brutality and the Black Flag group in Switzerland. In Montreal, a march is usually held which defies law P6 by not declaring its itinerary to police. In 21 years the march has only avoided arrests and hassling twice. The protest is immediately declared illegal and crackdown begins shortly after the protesters have gathered. Hundreds of people are arrested most years. The police use kettling, batons and are dressed in riot gear.

Collective Opposed to Police Brutality (C.O.B.P), also known as Collectif Opposé à la Brutalité Policière, is an autonomous group founded in Montreal in 1995. The organization consists of victims, witnesses, representatives of ethnic communities, marginalized youth, small political groups, the homeless, sex workers, gay, lesbian, and transgender people, youth, drug users, or ordinary citizens who have questions about police authority.

Acceptance of March 15 as a focal day of solidarity against police brutality varies from one place to another. In the United States, the October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation, a group mounted by the RCP, has succeeded in building support for October 22 (also known as O22) as National Anti Police Brutality Day since 1995.

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