Two people were arrested following protests against Vancouver’s East Hastings tent decampment efforts.
Yesterday, the City of Vancouver announced that it would escalate efforts in removing tents and structures in the Downtown Eastside partly because of fire safety risks. With the help of the Vancouver Police Department, City staff members began removing the items from the street.
Vancouver police said demonstrators had “begun throwing projectiles” and sprayed officers with fire extinguishers. Then, not long after the decampment actions began, protests broke out.
VPD told Daily Hive that two protesters were arrested for assault.
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A spokesperson for VANDU suggested that the City knows that decampment efforts are futile and “cynical.”
The spokesperson also told Daily Hive that they were under the impression that two residents of the Downtown Eastside were arrested, which doesn’t corroborate what we heard from the VPD, which said it was two protesters who were arrested, not residents.
Senior staff from multiple departments and Engineering Services workers are decked out in rain gear. They seem warm and dry.
The decampment team continues to dismantle and destroy tents, tarps, canopies, and other shelters.
Residents are cold and wet. pic.twitter.com/cjhpRKGTfB
— VANDU (@VANDUpeople) April 6, 2023
“People have nowhere to go, but the purpose is to punish them and teach them a lesson.”
Some also argued that during the protests, the police were the ones to escalate the situation.
Who is escalating in this situation?
Is it the observers, or is it the VPD constable violently herding observers with a bicycle? https://t.co/7cSsAT2xLj
— VANDU (@VANDUpeople) April 5, 2023
Today, officers shared that decampment efforts are continuing in the area.
City crews are continuing their work in the encampment zone and have now closed Hastings St from Main to Columbia Street.
Traffic is reopen for vehicle traffic along Hastings between Gore and Main St.
— Vancouver Police (@VancouverPD) April 6, 2023
Daily Hive reached out to the City of Vancouver about the decampment. It told us that beyond fire and safety concerns, efforts are also intended to ensure that sidewalks, building access, and “the general public realm” is returned “to a state prior to the encampment.”
With files from Nikitha Martins