27 April 2012: Security Message for U.S. Citizens – Student Protests
The U.S. Consulate in Montreal alerts U.S. citizens traveling to and residing in Quebec Province of the potential for continuing student protests, some of which have resulted in violence and arrests. The U.S. Consulate urges U.S. citizens to avoid the areas of demonstrations, and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any protests.
For several weeks, there have been large demonstrations in Montreal and outlying cities protesting university tuition increases. While the majority of the protests have been peaceful, some participants have incited violence, by throwing rocks and engaging in other acts of vandalism. These demonstrations have varied in size, with some attracting thousands of protestors to downtown Montreal. Businesses remain open although vehicular traffic patterns and public transportation may be temporarily disrupted due to protest actions. Most of the protests have been well-publicized and announced several days in advance, while others have occurred with no prior notice. While the demonstrations are intended to be peaceful, some can turn into confrontational or potentially violent situations.
There are no indications that foreigners or U.S. citizens are being threatened or targeted. Nonetheless, U.S. citizens are advised to remain alert to local security developments and to be vigilant regarding their personal security. The local police service, Service de Police de la Ville de Montreal (SPVM), provides frequent security updates in French and English via Twitter (@SPVM).
The Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid demonstrations, as bystanders can quickly be caught up in unforeseen violence and in some cases detained by the local police. If you believe your security is compromised, call the police at 911.
You can stay in touch and get Consulate updates by checking the U.S. Consulate General Montreal website. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, by calling the regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
U.S. citizens are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly at the nearest U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the embassy/consulates to contact them in case of emergency. Stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.
The U.S. Consulate in Montreal is located at 1155 rue St. Alexandre, Montreal. U.S. citizens may contact the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy via e-mail at Montreal-ACS@state.gov, or by calling 514-981-5059 24 hours per day.