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One arrested in otherwise peaceful Paterson protest

RCMP say a rally organized by Freedom Convoy Kootenay at the Paterson border crossing south of Rossland on Saturday was peaceful, but one person was arrested at the end.

Sgt. Mike Wicentowich says the four hour demonstration drew about 100 people, who blocked the road from noon until 4 p.m. to protest vaccine mandates and COVID-19 restrictions. Afterward, most left, but a couple of trucks were not removed. One man was then arrested for mischief.

“After he was arrested, the organizer of the event approached us,” Wicentowich says. “We negotiated with her and released the gentleman who agreed to remove the trucks from the roadway.”

Charges are not expected.

“That one person seemed to be an outlier,” Wicetowich says. “The rest are there to get a message across and protest peacefully. Will continue to liaise with them.”

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Another temporary roadblock is planned this Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 4 p.m. Emergency vehicles will be allowed through during that time, but Wicentowich says he encourages travellers to the U.S. to use other local border crossings.

He also said that the protesters expect to maintain a steady encampment at the site, and asks drivers to travel slowly through the area and be mindful of pedestrians on the highway.

It was one of a number of such events around the West Kootenay over the weekend. A convoy rolled through the Slocan Valley Sunday, while a protest was held in Nelson.

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