Protesters rally for public safety at Kamloops City Hall | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Protesters rally for public safety at Kamloops City Hall

Protesters gathered at Kamloops city hall on April 27, 2023, to voice frustrations over crime and social disorder in the city.

Around 50 people voiced their frustrations about crime on the steps of Kamloops city hall this afternoon.

The protesters chanted "enough is enough" as they aired their frustrations with the growing social disorder on Kamloops streets and criticized of the province's bail system. The crowd was a mix of business owners, residents, homeless server providers and a former city councillor.

"This is about our public safety and our children, and that's why we are upset and angry. It's because no one is listening to our concerns... about the fact that we are the ones doing the policing and dealing with overdoses," protestor Rebecca Price Baechle told the crowd.

It's a sentiment shared in cities across the province and the Kamloops protest was just one of many.

Collen Middleton of Nanaimo organized the province-wide effort after a man in that city was shot trying to retrieve stolen items from a homeless encampment.

The Kamloops event was led by local homeless advocate Glenn Hilke.

"We are here for one reason and one reason only: to stand together and say that everyone in our community needs help," Hilke said.

Speakers took turns to share their concerns and pointed their frustrations at Hilke and his homeless drop-in centre The Loop. Although there was tension, protesters joined in their desire for consequences for repeat offenders and more widely available healthcare for people struggling on Kamloops streets.

Protestor Bronwen Scott proposed a town hall event for residents and business owners to share their concerns with decision makers at City Hall.

Kamloops encampments have been going up in flames recently, with one blaze threatening homes in the West End earlier this month. City bylaw officers and firefighters have started to track encampments and educate campers on how to light their fires safely.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2023

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