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One arrest made after protest at Deltaport
A protest against an Israeli-owned ship docking at Deltaport Tuesday morning resulted in one arrest.
Truck traffic into the port was backed up for just over an hour as demonstrators handed out leaflets to drivers, in an attempt to bring awareness to the "Israeli siege in Gaza." The unidentified person was arrested for obstruction as police tried to keep activists off the main road to the port, mostly used by semi-trucks.
"People want to take a stand and we appreciate that, but we can't allow them to risk their personal safety in the process," said Delta Police spokesperson Sgt. Sharlene Brooks, explaining that the person arrested would not stay off the road. "Other than that ... People were co-operative, it was resolved in a short period of time."
The protest was peaceful overall, as the remaining people moved to the side of the road after police asked them to. The purpose of the protest was educational, to bring awareness to what is going on in Gaza, said one spokesperson.
"We want to educate people to take action against the siege on Gaza as it is totally inhumane and it is illegal," said Irene MacInnes, a member of the group Canadian Boat to Gaza. "The more people are aware, the more people will take action to pressure the government to take a stand."
MacInnes explained Israel has shut down Gaza's ports and will not allow any ship to come near the area.
"Israel can go around the world trading as they wish, but they are preventing the 1.5 million people in Gaza to trade," MacInnes added, explaining it is that unfairness which brought the protesters to Deltaport.
MacInnes was one of the more than 30 Canadians onboard the Tahrir, a ship bound to Gaza which made international headlines earlier this month after it was intercepted by the Greek coastguard.
About 20 members of Canadian Boat to Gaza and the Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign started handing out leaflets to drivers at 7 a.m. for just over an hour. ZIM, a large Israeli shipping company, had a ship docked at the local super port.
Port Metro Vancouver spokeswoman Barbara Joy-Kinsella said ZIM-owned ships frequently dock at Vancouver ports and that this protest caused no disruption to Deltaport. She added that the protesters were peaceful, handing out leaflets, and were gone by 8:30 a.m.
"The same thing happened last year," Joy-Kinsella said. "We were basically aware that they were going to be protesting this morning."