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Four demonstrators arrested after blocking access to Vancouver port for 24 hours

·1 min read

VANCOUVER — Indigenous youth calling themselves Braided Warriors temporarily blocked and forced the shutdown of a major Vancouver intersection to protest a 90-day jail sentence handed to an anti-pipeline protester.

The protest ended Wednesday night, roughly 24 hours after it started.

About 20 people set up a blockade at Hastings Street and Clark Drive late Tuesday, a key entrance to the Port of Vancouver, with the number of demonstrators peaking at 75 before police intervened.

Social media posts by the Braided Warriors say members intended to shut down the port to show solidarity with an elder sentenced for his role in protests against the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion project.

Vancouver police Sgt. Steve Addison says four people were arrested after repeated requests to clear the roadway.

Traffic in and out of the port was temporarily blocked due to the protest.

"(Vancouver police) strongly supports peoples’ fundamental freedom to peacefully gather, demonstrate, and express their views, and this group was given a full day to do that," Addison said in a statement.

"When it became clear some protesters had no intention of leaving, officers were forced to arrest them to reopen the intersection for all road users."

The Braided Warriors said in a social media post that the elder they had been supporting was released on bail.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021.

The Canadian Press