Vancouver police were busy this weekend when thousands of protesters flooded the downtown core
Supporters of the "Stand United 'The Media is the Virus' Convoy/CTV Rally" clashed with counter protesters throughout the day on Saturday, Feb. 5. The event caused widespread traffic gridlocks and sparked skirmishes throughout the city according to a recent VPD release.
“Everyone has the right to peacefully assemble and express their views, and the Vancouver Police Department is committed to providing a safe environment for lawful protest,” says Sergeant Steve Addison, VPD. “Today’s protests attracted thousands of people who feel passionately about their causes. While most protesters were peaceful, some had to be arrested for violent behaviour and unlawful conduct.”
VPD received numerous reports of rocks and eggs being thrown, cars being kicked, and nails being strewn on roadways as several hundred vehicles travelled through the city.
"Police officers worked throughout the day to mitigate traffic disruptions and resolve conflicts between the vehicle convoy, counter-protesters, and Vancouver residents concerned about noise, disorder, and violence," a release states.
In all, five protesters were arrested.
- A 29-year-old man was arrested near Robson and Burrard Street after VPD officers observed him wearing a balaclava and pulling a wagon full of egg cartons. The man, a U.S. citizen from Washington State, had a knife in a sheath tied to his belt, and two eggs in his jacket pocket.
- A 29-year-old man was arrested after he stood in the middle of the road, told a driver in the protest convoy to go back to the valley, and started trying to push a vehicle backwards. VPD officers tried to calm the man down and repeatedly encouraged him to leave the roadway, however officers were forced to arrest him when his behaviour threatened to incite onlookers.
- A 57-year-old man was arrested for mischief after he was seen kicking vehicles near Burrard and Davie Street.
- A 30-year-old man was arrested when VPD officers observed him walking through a crowd of protesters and challenging people to fights.
- A 28-year-old man was arrested for mischief near Nelson and Burrard Street after witnesses flagged down VPD officers and reported he was throwing eggs.
Those who were arrested were brought to the Vancouver jail and have been released from custody.