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Thousands expected at unsanctioned Vancouver street party; VPD worried about safety

Last Updated Aug 21, 2015 at 11:35 am PDT

(Courtesy facebook.com/events/558077314331675)

'We don't believe this is a safe event,' Vancouver Police say

VPD says organizers of Commercial Drive street party are hiding behind social media

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – More than 5,000 people are expected to show up at an unsanctioned street party on Commercial Drive in Vancouver tonight.

Neighbours and police are worried things will get out of hand, like they did at a similar event back in May; one person was stabbed, three were arrested, and people used neighbours yards as a giant toilet.

VPD Sergeant Randy Fincham says they haven’t been able to get in touch with the organizers yet.

“They certainly are hiding behind social media to get their invitation across to the public and sharing little information to try and intrigue the public to show up. We don’t believe this is a safe event. We don’t believe it is a well-prepared event. We don’t believe that there is a plan in place for washroom facilities, First Aid or anything to protect attendees.”

Officers have spoken with people and business owners in the area who are angry this is happening.

“We do, on the policing side, support someone’s right to protest, someone’s right to demonstrate, someone’s right to enjoy themselves and dance in the street. That’s certainly not the concern at this point. The concern we have is public safety where people are being invited to a protest or to a demonstration under the guise of a street party,” adds Fincham.

On its Facebook page, organizers are taking issue with the city’s licensing process, which it calls expensive. Organizers are asking for anyone to come with their sounds systems to “create the biggest decentralized party this city has ever witnessed.”

People are expected to begin gathering in Grandview Park at 7 p.m.