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Counter-protesters gather at Manitoba legislature anti-mandate demonstration

Protestors gather in front of legislature. Will Reimer

Several hundred protesters gathered at the north side of the Manitoba legislature Saturday, opposed to the ongoing anti-mandate protest that’s been happening on Broadway and Memorial Avenue in solidarity with the so-called “freedom convoy” protest in Ottawa.

The group called Defend Winnipeg organized the new demonstration in what they call a chance to “unite against a common threat which has involved our community and caused so much damage and harm.”

Read more: Paris police thwart advance of protesters inspired by Canada’s trucker convoy

In a post online, the counter-protesters say they did not want to have any interactions with people involved in the other protest. It appeared on Saturday there was no confrontation, as both protests remained separated by the grounds of the legislature.

A counter-protest opposed to an ongoing protest against COVID-19 mandates was held at the Manitoba legislative grounds Saturday. Will Reimer, Global News

Demonstrators were heard chanting “go home” and “whose streets? our streets” while clapping and waving signs.

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Police were spotted walking through the area and monitoring the situation. As well, the police Air1 helicopter was spotted circling overhead.

Read more: Ontario calls state of emergency amid convoy protests: Here’s what that means

The Defend Winnipeg social media group suggests demonstrators won’t be participating in the protest for long, however people could be seen bringing cases of water and snacks.

Police told Global News Broadway between Osborne Street North and Kennedy Street was closed earlier in the day because of the protests, but has since reopened.

Police are pictured directing traffic on Memorial and Broadway.

Police say they deployed additional resources in the area to “keep the peace in response to conflicting protests.”No charges were laid during the events, however they say two people were detained under the Intoxicated Persons Detention Act. They say this was due to their own safety, related to traffic concerns. They individuals were taken to a residence where they were turned over to friends.

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