Additional VPD officers deployed around Vancouver Monday in anticipation of gatherings

Sgt. Steve Addison with the Vancouver Police Department says additional police officers have been deployed around Vancouver Monday in anticipation of planned gatherings and demonstrations.

“We support everyone’s right to peacefully assemble and to express themselves,” Addison said in a statement. “Our primary role is to maintain order, facilitate safe and peaceful gatherings, and respond to unlawful behaviour if it occurs.”

This additional VPD presence comes amid conflict in the Middle East.

On Saturday, Hamas launched a surprise attack from Gaza, and on Sunday the Israeli government formally declared war against Hamas.

According to posts on social media, a protest related to the overseas conflict is planned for 2 p.m. Monday at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

On Monday, Mayor Ken Sim released a statement saying, “Vancouver has no place for hate.” Sim says he spoke with the VPD and is encouraged that they will investigate any incidents of hate in the city.

“The attacks on Israel and the escalating violence in the Middle East is heartbreaking,” Addison said. He adds the VPD’s thoughts are with everyone impacted by the conflict in Israel.

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