Student Protests Threaten Montreal Grand Prix

Student Protests Threaten Montreal Grand Prix

Threats of protests threatening a Formula One race are nothing new in far away regions of the world like the Middle-East, but what about here in North America?

A call to action by one student group is calling into question the safety and security surrounding the upcoming Montreal Grand Prix, held the weekend of July 8-10. While most races in the F1 calendar are held on purpose-built race tracks, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve uses city streets in Canada’s third largest city.

One student group, C.L.A.S.S.E., has called for a weekend of disruptions surrounding the race. So far protests over increased tuition fees have led to 100 days of protests with more than 2,500 arrests during nightly confrontations between students and the police.

The U.S. Consulate in Montreal has already warned American tourists of possible danger in visiting the city, including the threat of “unforeseen violence.”

Adding to the possibility of disruption is the fact that the GP race weekend is also the same weekend of Montreal’s annual Beer Fest.

In total, the race weekend brings 300,000 spectators to Montreal and over $100 million in revenue.

[Source: WinnipegFreePress]

  • Tom

    The Canadian Grand Prix does not use city streets of Montreal. It uses the streets of a park on the Ilse Notre Dame which lis in the middle of the St. Lawrence River. The circuit is close to a purpose built track. Access to the track and island itself only via the Metro, aside from very limited surface vehicle access with a special pass.