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Anti-mandate protesters gather near B.C. border crossing for second straight weekend

Hundreds of protesters converged on the intersection of 176 Street and 8th Avenue in south Surrey on Saturday as police set up checkpoints to keep demonstrators away from the Pacific Highway border crossing for the second straight weekend.

Around noon, Surrey RCMP said in a news release that it had closed 176 Street to all traffic from 8th Avenue.

"As a preventative measure, and to help ensure public and officer safety, vehicles and pedestrians cannot access the Pacific Highway border crossing at this time," police said in their release.

"The public are advised to use alternate border crossings during this service disruption until further notice."

Earlier in the day, Mounties set up checkpoints south of 8th Avenue, stopping drivers to confirm they have legitimate business at the border before allowing them to pass.

RCMP are hoping to avoid a repeat of last weekend, when hundreds of protesters marched to the border crossing in solidarity with the self-described "Freedom Convoy" that has occupied downtown Ottawa for several weeks.

Police allege that several officers were assaulted during last weekend's protests, and have said they're investigating Motor Vehicle Act violations allegedly committed by drivers who broke through their barricades on the way to the border. 

The protesters are demanding an end to COVID-19 vaccination mandates, as well as all COVID-19-related public health restrictions. The Ottawa protests have also become a focal point for people airing a litany of other grievances against the federal government.

Around 5 p.m., Surrey RCMP told CTV News that no arrests had been made. However, the detachment said in a release that it’s investigating after members of the media were swarmed by protesters.

Police said they’ll be reaching out to the reporters and camera operators who were targeted to gather their accounts of the incidents.

Video captured by CTV News appeared to show several protesters surrounding, harassing and intimidating a crew from the CBC. Two men could also be seen spitting at the journalists.

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

Surrey RCMP said they are working with provincial and federal RCMP units and the Canada Border Services Agency to manage the situation at the border crossing.

"While police respect the right to protest, enforcement will be taken in the event protest activity becomes unlawful," Mounties said. Top Stories

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