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Four arrests after homelessness, anti-police brutality activists occupy Vancouver intersection

Protesters erected tents in the intersection of Main and Hastings streets Wednesday, and vowed to occupy the street overnight.
Protesters erected tents in the intersection of Main and Hastings streets Wednesday, and vowed to occupy the street overnight. Courtesy: Mark Teasdale
Vancouver police confirm four people were arrested following a lengthy protest at a Vancouver intersection on Wednesday.

Activists advocating for Vancouver’s homeless pitched tents in the intersection of Main and Hastings streets, and said they planned to spend the night in the busy thoroughfare.

Police said they arrested three people for breach of peace and another person was taken into custody for intimidation and obstruction.

The protest came amid tensions over how to address the city’s homelessness crisis and a growing, four-month-old homeless encampment in nearby Strathcona Park.

Read more: ‘It’s moving in the opposite direction’: City of Vancouver to consider sanctioned tent cities

In a press release, the group said it occupied the intersection to “signal their resistance to ongoing police violence and the justice system‘s colonialized violence.”

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“We’re resisting the ongoing suppression of the most vulnerable peoples and those we should be holding up rather than pushing down,” group spokesperson Chrissy Brett said.

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“Indigenous people and homeless people have been brutalized and had their rights trampled on for generations and we need this to stop now.”

The release said other members of the occupation were members of the Strathcona encampment and the Downtown Eastside.

Read more: Man caught on video walking near Strathcona Park with a chainsaw

Vancouver police said about 25 people took to the intersection around 1 p.m. Officers remained on scene for most of the night to monitor the situation and most involved in the protest had left the area by 11 p.m.

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TransLink detoured multiple bus routes due to the blockage.