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Around 250 protesters surrounded Vancouver restaurant where Trudeau was dining: police

Vancouver police say an officer was injured after scuffles with protesters outside a restaurant in the city's Chinatown where the prime minister was dining on Tuesday night.

2 arrested after 100 officers deployed to Chinatown to control crowd so prime minister could leave, VPD said

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pauses while speaking about the Israel-Hamas war during a news conference at lithium battery manufacturer

Vancouver police say an officer was injured after scuffles with protesters outside a restaurant in the city's Chinatown where the prime minister was dining on Tuesday night.

Vancouver Police Department (VPD) Sgt. Steve Addison said in a statement that 100 officers were deployed around 10 p.m. PT "after protesters surrounded a restaurant."

He said Justin Trudeau was inside the restaurant at the time and officers helped control the crowd so the prime minister could be escorted out.

Addison said police estimated 250 protesters were at the restaurant, which he did not name. He said the establishment was on Main Street, near Keefer Street, and that about 150 people were in front of the restaurant, while another 100 were behind it.

"It became a security concern for us," he told CBC News, describing that barricades were being set up and people were locking arms. Police called the protest spontaneous, meaning VPD was not advised about it beforehand.

Vancouver police are holding a news conference about the incident at 11:30 a.m. PT, which CBC News will livestream.

Videos posted online appear to show Trudeau leaving a different restaurant on Tuesday after protesters entered the premises and called for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

2 men arrested

In the Chinatown protest, Addison said one officer was injured and taken to hospital for treatment after being punched in the face and having her eyes gouged.

Police said they arrested a 27-year-old man from Coquitlam, B.C., in relation to the assault. Officers deployed a Taser as part of the arrest along with "other physical control tactics," said Addison.

Officers also arrested a 34-year-old Vancouver man for obstructing police. He was later released from custody.

Addison did not say what the protest in Chinatown was about. Police were recommending charges against the 27-year-old to the B.C. Prosecution Service, he said.

"When protests occur, our primary role is to maintain order, to facilitate a peaceful environment for people to express themselves, and to respond to unlawful behaviour if it occurs," he said.

VPD says on average it attends around 800 protests in the city. On Tuesday, Addison said the city is on pace to exceed 1,000 for 2023.

The protesters on Main Street left following Trudeau's departure, police said.

Other confrontation

VPD also acknowledged posts that appeared online from around 9 p.m. that appear to show the prime minister dining at Vij's, a well known Indian restaurant on Cambie Street, before protesters approach him and call for him to demand a ceasefire in the Middle East.

Addison said that incident preceded the protest in Chinatown and did not require a significant police response.

The videos appear to show Trudeau leaving the restaurant surrounded by his security detail while speaking to other diners and restaurant owner Vikram Vij, who is also a TV personality.

A statement from the prime minister's officer confirmed Trudeau was approached by demonstrators in Vancouver, but did not provide further details.

"In regards to any specific interactions, our office does not comment on the prime minister's security detail or process," it said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Chad Pawson is a CBC News reporter in Vancouver. You can contact him at chad.pawson@cbc.ca.

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Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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