After having my bag searched upon my arrival at Berri-UQAM metro station, I took a seat in a subway car headed to Jean-Drapeau station, my book in hand. On my way back, I read facing a police officer and a woman was reading with me, over my shoulder. We had our picture taken and the police officer, seeing that we were two dangerous people, called for backup to meet us properly at Berri. With the other passengers in the car, we were placed against the wall and were subsequently taken outside, by the emergency exits, where we were told not to come back or we would be arrested. The police gave no answer when I asked what was wrong with reading in the metro.
I commited a terrible act of civil disobedience by going back down into the station and returning to read in a subway car. When the police officers saw me eating my apple, they shouted at me that they recognized my tattoos and came after me. I asked them what I had done wrong, other than peacefully reading, and they said that I had disobeyed police orders. I asked my question again, asking what was wrong with reading in the metro, and I got no answer. I was put under arrest and the two police officers did a high five to congratulate themselves on their good work. I was transported, as if I were a criminal, to the SPVM detention centre in downtown Montreal, where they took mug shots. After confiscating my personal belongings, the officers took me took cell 52, where there were already three other women. I spent the day behind bars, in a cell with a dirty toilet, sleeping on a bench, without knowing when I would be released. All this for reading in a subway car, and then repeating this revolutionary act. Around 3:30 PM, I was released with a citation telling me that all this circus was for a charge of refusing to circulate.
Police state? I’m ashamed of my Quebec.
X-posted at Let Freedom Rain.