Dozens of homeless activists who occupied a Vancouver elementary school to call for housing amid the novel coronavirus pandemic were arrested by Vancouver police early Sunday morning.
The group of roughly 30 activists, many of whom also live in the Downtown Eastside, broke into Lord Strathcona School Saturday night, using a vacant building as “emergency housing” for people who say they have nowhere else to go.
Spokespeople say Vancouver’s homeless are in need of safe places to self-isolate during the COVID-19 crisis, arguing it’s impossible for those people to practice physical distancing and follow provincial directives to stay at home
“We’re just trying to find a place that’s safe to go,” activist Dwayne Martin told Global News. “They said there were places for us to go, [but] there’s not anything being done for the people on the street.”
Martin and a few other protesters made their way to the roof of the building after large teams of Vancouver police arrived to clear the school.
A Vancouver Fire Department ladder truck had to be brought in to allow police safe access to the roof, where officers talked the activists back down.
Several other protesters could be seen getting carried out of the building in handcuffs.
Global News has reached out to Vancouver police for comment.
More to come
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