In 1997, the Black Flag group from Switzerland and the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality from Montreal, Canada, began an initiative to protest abusive police powers. The initiative is a march that’s usually held in Montreal; the march defies law P6 by not declaring its itinerary to police. The protest is considered illegal, and hundreds of people are usually arrested each year. Police also dress in riot gear to prepare for violent arrests and brute force. There have been only two times that no one was arrested within 18 years of the initiative.
Several U.S. cities followed suit and took the streets in protest to police brutality. Protests took place in Seattle, WA, Yakima, WA, and Kansas City. Activists in Kansas City held signs that commemorated victims of police brutality, and they had the support of a fire department that honked and turned on sirens. The fire department supported the protest in memory of Anthony Bruno who was a firefighter murdered by an off-duty police officer on his wedding night. You can read about Anthony Bruno here: “Cop Donald Hubbard said he had no choice when he shot and killed firefighter Anthony Bruno last fall. That’s because he’d already made some bad decisions.”
Then there was Copenhagen, Denmark, which protested with loud music and dancing, and Hamilton city in Canada. More and more activists in many cities held a protest against police brutality. Protests also took place in Oakland, Fullerton, Baltimore, and Melbourne.
While March 15th is observed as International Day Against Police Brutality in many countries, the United States often observes this on a different day; the U.S. has a National Anti-Police Brutality Day on October 22nd, also known as O22.
And whether the protest is held on March 15th or October 22nd, it’s clear that many countries experience police brutality despite laws that prosecute such behavior.