For the second weekend in a row, Montrealers gathered peacefully in the streets to protest racism and police brutality. An enormous crowd gathered at Place Émilie-Gamelin at 10:00 a.m. Sunday before moving through downtown. The SPVM estimated that "thousands" of people took part in the Montreal protest.

The local marches are part of a global surge sparked by the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.

In many cases, demonstrators are demanding top-to-bottom reform of law enforcement systems that inflict violence on black communities.

In some cities, politicians are acting on protestors' calls to defund police departments.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reports that "Minneapolis City Council members have announced their intent to disband the Minneapolis Police Department and invest in community-led public safety."

Los Angeles officials are also reportedly aiming to take funds away from the police department.

In Montreal, thousands are also seeking more accountability from the SPVM. Over 57,000 people have signed a petition to make body cameras mandatory for local officers.

Photos and videos from the protest Sunday show that Montrealers are mobilized for change.

Aerial views posted by Nous sommes la ligue des noirs nouvelle génération, one of the groups that organized the demonstration, give the best indication of the size of the crowd.

The league had initially invited Montreal police Chief Sylvain Caron to attend the protest but took back that invitation on Saturday, saying that "citizens are terrified at the idea of him being there."

In a statement posted to Facebook, the league wrote that "this is the consequence of the loss of confidence in an institution whose duty it was to keep us safe, but which chose to spread brutality and fear."

"Our team would have liked to do things differently, but we are working for the citizens and the people we are working for are not ready for this step."

"We sincerely hope that the Chief of Police and politicians will understand the message that citizens are trying to send," the statement concluded.

Another demonstration is planned for Montreal on Sunday, June 14 in support of black trans and queer lives.

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