1 arrested after glass smashed into Vancouver city hall during ‘street sweep’ protest: police

One person was arrested and a glass door was smashed when protesters opposing so-called “street sweeping” protests descended on Vancouver City Hall on Wednesday afternoon.

Protesters from the Stop the Sweeps Coalition gathered on the steps of City Hall, calling for an end to the practice, before police said they were trying to disrupt a meeting that was underway inside.

City councilors debated the controversial Broadway plan on Wednesday.

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DTES group stands up to ‘street sweeping’ actions, target of area homeless says

The group “briefly occupied the building’s lobby” before police escorted them out, said VPD spokesman Sgt. said Steve Addison.

According to the police, one person has been arrested for mischief related to the smashed glass.

City Count. Melissa De Genova took to Twitter to describe the protest as “violence and vandalism and terrorizing staff or members of the public”.

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“The chant ‘stop the sweeps’ outside Vancouver City Hall was fine all day until they started breaking doors and putting others in unsafe situations,” she wrote.

“Street sweepers” refer to the way the City of Vancouver tech personnel, with the support of the Vancouver Police Department, regularly patrol the Downtown Eastside, collecting items from the sidewalks and disposing of them in dump trucks.

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DTES residents, proponents say ‘street sweeps’ targeting homeless in the city

The protesters say the practice unfairly targets homeless people on the streets and DTES residents who rely on public spaces, and allege people have been given items ranging from survival gear and important documents to irreplaceable personal mementos.

In a statement to Global News last week, the City of Vancouver said crews are trained to take only abandoned items, not personal effects.

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“Over the past 3 months, city officials have been meeting with the community, including VANDU, Pivot and people with experience in this field,” it said.

“The Engineering Services Department, which oversees the street cleaning work, participated in these meetings whose aim is to develop long-term solutions to create a safe way for everyone to keep the streets clean. We appreciate the cooperation of the communities in this area.”

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