It’s just before 8pm in the Villeray district of Montreal. People wander in and out of the shops and bars, and traffic streams down the main road. But gradually the atmosphere changes, as clusters of people begin to congregate at the busy Jarry intersection. Some are in small groups, and others alone; hipsters in shorts and hi-top trainers mingle with parents in hiking boots and khakis. One thing unites them: they are all carrying pots and pans.
Within half an hour, the metro station is closed to traffic and the intersection is shut down. Hundreds of people are banging their pans, drowning out the sound of car horns from frustrated motorists. This clanking cacophony has become a nightly ritual all over Montreal: a remarkably successful street protest against a draconian emergency law enacted to crack down on what began as localised protest against tuition fees.