Surrey, B.C., council restricts access over 'disruptive' pro-Palestine protests

  • Canadian Press

SURREY, B.C. — City council in Surrey, B.C., says it is restricting public access to its meetings after persistent disruptions from pro−Palestinian protesters.

Mayor Brenda Locke began Monday’s meeting by announcing that the public would be allowed to attend meetings on city premises, but outside the gallery.

She told the meeting that council had adopted provisions for registered members of the public to speak on items on the agenda.

Locke said the decision was made "reluctantly" because of the escalating protests disrupting meetings since December by protesters who she said had "occupied" council chambers.

The mayor said additional safety measures have also been put in place, including added security and a police presence.

She said all council members respect the right to protest, but that does not extend to "blockading lawful activities."

"Reluctantly, we have had to take this step to move the public outside of the gallery in order to ensure the business of the city continues," she said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 12, 2024.

The Canadian Press