Montreal's Grand Prix guarded by sniffer dogs, police after night of clashes

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Montreal's Grand Prix guarded by sniffer dogs, police after night of clashes

MONTREAL - Montreal police are clamping down on any attempt to disrupt the subway line running to the city's Formula One Grand Prix today.

Officers are posted at every station, with sniffer dogs and a line of police at the subway stop on the island where the race is taking place.

A Canadian Press reporter who didn't have a Grand Prix ticket wasn't allowed onto the island and was forced back onto the subway along with several other people.

Thousands of racing fans are using the subway to get to the race, which starts at 2 p.m. — but an anti-capitalist group known to clash with police has called for disruptions on the system.

The popular race comes after a night of demonstrations ended in clashes between protesters and riot police in the downtown area.

Police say 28 people were arrested Saturday night and at least four police cruisers were vandalized.

The group organizing today's protest has suggested packing the subway with as many people as possible, making it difficult for fans to get to the race.

"We're all going to the Grand Prix ... AT THE SAME TIME!'' reads a posting on the group's website.

The subway protest was also promoted on a website calendar of the province's largest student group.

"Don't get aboard the trains until you receive the signal,'' the post says.

The subway system has been a target before. A group is facing charges for setting off smoke bombs in the subway last month.

There has been a heightened police presence throughout the four-day Grand Prix festivities in downtown Montreal and at the race track itself.

The event has become the target of demonstrations against student tuition fee increases and capitalism in general.

A taxi driver could be among those facing charges after Saturday night's clashes. Police said he got out of his cab to argue with a crowd of protesters and his vehicle rolled down a hill, injuring three people before the 22-year-old driver fled the scene.

Fireworks were seized from one person this morning near the track, police said.

Organizations: Canadian Press

Geographic location: Montreal

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