Police arrest 20 protesters as the race weekend is about to start at Montreal – Formula 1 news
Police have arrested 20 protesters outside gala event ahead of the race weekend in Montreal.
Students protesting against the government for increasing their tuition fees had already threatened to make the Formula 1 event the target of their disruptions in order to make their point across if they have it.
Authorities took a strict approach as riot control police arrested 20 protesters even before they could close to the venue. Even journalists were warned that they would be risking arrest if they decided to remain in the vicinity.
The authorities already responded to the threats by closing the “open day” event on Thursday. The event is for fans to see the teams, cars and engage in friendly conversations with the personnel.
The issue has prolonged for more than three months and it is at a standstill. The Formula 1 event was targeting due to its financial gain to the city. It will generate almost $100 million. It would also give them a lot of media attention.
Jacques Villeneuve son of Gilles Villeneuve said, “It's time for people to wake up and stop loafing about. It's lasted long enough. They spoke, we heard, and now it's time to go back to school.”
“Some of the students are not happy about certain things,” said Mark Webber. “I'm not saying it's a minority but, sometimes, when there's a little bit of tension other people may lose out, like some fans who wanted to come and see the track today so that's
really unfortunate. I'm sure the weekend will go well. We want to see all the fans, all the young people, the students,” Felipe Massa added. “We want to see them here with us, enjoying the sport.”
After the Bahrain issue Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone would not want another Grand Prix ridden with controversies. The Bahrain Grand Prix was on the brink of being cancelled as the country faced civil unrest. He was heckled when he reached Montreal,
said that he hopes that the Grand Prix can go without any incidents.
The race is scheduled for Sunday June 10, 2012 at the Gilles Villeneuve circuit.