Protesters shut down Vancouver’s city hall

Vancouver Courier

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Protesters started blocking doors at city hall early Tuesday morning, May 1. Photo Mike Howell

Housing activists shut down city hall early Tuesday morning (May 1) by blocking all the doors.

Councillors, who were scheduled to meet, were forced to gather outside where they postponed the meeting until further notice.

Mike Howell, the Courier’s city hall reporter, is on the scene. His posts can be found at @howellings. The story is developing. More to come. Check back at vancourier.com

About 20 activists also took over the city’s permit and licence centre at 10th and Cambie. They were eventually cleared out, along with staff and customers, but the office was expected to re-open soon.

The Our Homes Can’t Wait Coalition is behind the blockade. It’s calling for the development at 58 West Hastings to be rented at 100 per cent welfare and pension rates.

The City of Vancouver put out a statement informing the public that the city council meeting was in recess due to the demonstration.

It read: “Due to protests taking place at City Hall and limiting access to the building, today’s council meeting is currently in recess. Council relocated to another City property. Access to City Hall remains limited at this time but public who require assistance with City business can call 3-1-1 or check @CityofVancouver on Twitter and the City of Vancouver Facebook page for updates.”

A second statement was put out just before 12 p.m. indicating it would not be possible to hold a public council meeting. Council planned to meet at noon to discuss its prescheduled in-camera agenda items before recessing again. Wednesday’s (May 2) meeting was expected to convene as scheduled, according to the statment.

“Following earlier closures due to protestors, Crossroads at Broadway and Cambie and the Service Centre at Cambie and 10th have reopened,” it added. “To minimize the impact to daily business, arrangements are in place for City Hall staff who have been affected to work at alternative locations.”

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