Members of Occupy Vancouver briefly disrupted traffic around Port Metro Vancouver Monday morning (Dec. 12) as part of a larger Occupy the Ports movement, but Deltaport has so far remained unoccupied.
Media reports indicated that protesters had planned to gather at Deltaport on Monday morning, but according to a port official, that never happened.
“We had understood that there was something planned for 10 a.m. That came and went, and as far as I know at this point there was nothing,” said Peter Xotta, vice-president of planning and operations at Port Metro Vancouver. “There was an indication that something might happen on Deltaport Way, so we were aware of that in advance and were just monitoring that situation,” he added.
Xotta said Port Metro Vancouver has a “variety of contingencies” for situations like this, including making sure there are resources available and communicating with other agencies such as Delta Police.
“Until we’re confident that there’s not potential disruption, we’ll continue to monitor the situation,” he said.
Delta Police Const. Ciaran Feenan said officers were “readily available” all morning in anticipation of a possible protest.
“We did have an operational plan in terms of whether or not there was a peaceful protest or demonstration down there (at Deltaport),” he said.
Feenan said police will continue to monitor the situation.
“We have resources out and about,” he said. “If the protest does happen, we’re going to be able to respond to it.”
An Occupy Vancouver media release says members are participating in a 12-hour West Coast co-ordinated port shutdown to “send a strong and clear message to the global one per cent: this economy belongs to all of us—not just those who disproportionately profit from trade.”
“There are numerous environmental concerns surrounding the port, from it’s impact on local ecosystems to its contribution to global climate change,” the release adds.
According to website Stopthepave.org, demonstrators were scheduled to meet at the Ladner Exchange bus loop at 9 a.m. on Monday for a “non-disruptive banner action” to call attention to issues looming at Deltaport, such as a proposed Foreign Trade Zone and Terminal 2 expansion.
Occupiers were expected to reconvene at noon at Callister Park in Vancouver to block the New Brighton Port entrance.