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Surrey RCMP investigating ‘aggressive protesters’ who swarmed media at Pacific Highway crossing

Several investigations now underway into protester behaviour
The “3rd Lower Mainland Freedom Convoy” arrived in South Surrey Saturday (Feb. 12) after starting in Chilliwack earlier in the morning. (File photo: Lauren Collins)

Surrey RCMP have opened another investigation into the behaviour of some protesters at the Pacific Highway border crossing in South Surrey.

Surrey RCMP temporarily closed 176 Street from 8 Avenue on Feb. 19 during an anti-vaccine-mandate protest held at the Canada/U.S. border.

The closure, police said Saturday, was a preventative measure to help ensure public and officer safety.

That afternoon, Surrey RCMP said police are aware of “several” incidents that took place Saturday involving a group of “aggressive protesters” who surrounded members of the media.

“Police intervention was required due to the actions of the protesters, and to ensure that media members had safe passage to their vehicles,” RCMP said in the release.

RELATED: 16 people arrested at Pacific Highway border crossing in South Surrey

Surrey RCMP said officers will be following up with reporters and camera people involved to gather their full accounts, including the collection of any video evidence.

“These kinds of acts of aggression and intimidation towards media, or any member of the public, are simply unacceptable,” said Sgt. Elenore Sturko. “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.”

The investigation is one of several that is underway into the conduct of protesters at the border.

On Feb. 12, Surrey RCMP said it is opening an investigation after protest vehicles breached a police barricade, driving the wrong way down 176 Street, during a “freedom convoy” event.

While Surrey RCMP Cpl. Vanessa Munn said protesters were “mainly peaceful, a few vehicles have breached police barricades, driving the wrong way down 176 Street.”

“While no injuries were reported as a result of the incident, this had the potential for harm to pedestrians and first responders. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated and is being investigated.”

And on Feb. 14, Surrey RCMP arrested 12 people that were at the border.

“Surrey RCMP along with policing partners have used a measured approach throughout this situation to ensure the safety of the police and the public, including young children who were brought to the area by protesters,” said Assistant Commissioner Brian Edwards, Officer in Charge of the Surrey RCMP. “Local residents and businesses in the area have been patient and supportive as we’ve worked towards a resolution, with public safety always remaining at the forefront.”

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