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Olympic Village protests ends in 10 arrests

Ten housing activists were arrested during an Olympic Village protest on Saturday on suspicion of break and entering and trespassing, according to the Vancouver Police Department.

According to reports from the Vancouver Media Co-op, the 10 activists were part of an attempt to establish a tent city in an empty lot next to the beleaguered Olympic condos to send a message about their displeasure at the loss of 126 units of social housing originally promised when the Village was under construction.

Originally numbering over 200 people (75 people according to The Province), the Media Co-op reports the tent village was shut down when the owner of the vacant lot asked police to remove them. Later that evening some activists returned to the Village to continue their protest:

Twelve activists occupied raw retail space (perhaps the Urban Fare reported to have abandoned a situation that has slid downscale?) and used masking tape on the inside of the glass to call for "Homes Now!" Supporters outside drummed on a 45 gallon steel barrel that should have been warming a tent city.

Police later moved in and arrested the 10, releasing them later that evening.

"We'll be in touch with the property owner and seeing how they'd like to proceed, and we'll be proceeding, and they could be charged with both break and enter and trespassing," says Constable Lindsay Houghton, a media spokesperson for the VPD.

The Olympic Village, recently rebranded False Creek Village, was originally supposed to include 252 units of social housing but the number was cut in half when the provincial government took over the project after the developer stopped making payments. The prices of 230 available units were recently slashed by 30 per cent, resulting in the sale of 128 units in four days last week.

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