The Pacific Highway border crossing in Surrey, B.C., is now open after being closed for most of Saturday, amid the latest convoy protest opposing COVID-19 measures.
Demonstrators met at locations in Vancouver and Chilliwack Saturday morning, then convoyed on Highway 1 with a destination of Highway 15 and 8th Avenue, the key entry point to the truck crossing.
RCMP say as of 8 pm Saturday evening, the vast majority of protesters have left, except for a small group at the intersection of 176th and 8th avenue.
“It’s been a very busy day for our teams on the ground, and those supporting operations from behind the scenes,” says Sgt Elenore Sturko.
“Our work here is not done though, and the public can expect a continued police presence in the days and nights ahead.”
At one point, demonstrators became aggressive with media on site, including Global BC, with police stepping in to ensure reporters could safely access their vehicles.
Mounties later said they had launched an investigation into “a group of aggressive protesters who surrounded members of the media.”
“These kinds of acts of aggression and intimidation towards media, or any member of the public, are simply unacceptable,” Sturko said.
“While it is not always safe for our officers to take immediate enforcement action at the time of the alleged offences based on the size of the crowd of protesters, these incidents will be fully investigated and could lead to subsequent arrests or charges.”
12 protesters arrested at B.C. border trucker protest as police move in
Meanwhile, a heated situation shaped up in East Vancouver, where shouting and, at points, shoving, broke out as convoy supporters and counter-protesters faced off at Hastings and Renfrew Streets.
Wet’suwet’en Nation condemns northern B.C. pipeline attack as new images released
As it happened: Police remove 46 vehicles from Ottawa’s convoy blockade
Bearing signs with messages such as “get out of town,” and “go home,” convoy opponents told Global News they had turned out to tell the protesters they weren’t welcome in the city.
Vancouver police attended the scene, and told Global News officers cleared the intersection and that the vehicle protest left the city.
No one was arrested, police said.
12 people arrested as police clear protest blockades at Pacific Highway border crossing
In Victoria, police said Belleville Street was closed at Douglas Street, as the city also played host to the latest in a string of COVID measure protests.
Saturday was the second time anti-vaccine mandate protesters have targeted the Pacific Highway crossing.
A similar convoy descended on Highway 15 last week, shutting the border crossing for several days before police arrested a dozen people.
The convoy protesters maintain they are taking the streets for freedom, and have compared vaccine mandates and other COVID-19 measures to tyranny and communism.
Saturday’s protests come as police in Ottawa continue to clear an entrenched demonstration that law enforcement and municipal, provincial and federal officials have all dubbed “unlawful.” More than 100 people have been arrested so far.
Ottawa police use anti-riot weapons on convoy protesters, arrest 170
Earlier this week Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took the extraordinary step of invoking the never-before-used Emergencies Act, giving police and financial regulators exceptional powers to deal with the protest and blockades that have stretched across the country for weeks.
If MPs do not vote to approve the act on Monday, the emergency powers will expire.
Dozens arrested as police clearing the streets of Ottawa
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.