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Demonstrators gather near Ottawa police headquarters to protest increases in 2022 OPS budget

Protestors plan to meet up again on Tuesday at the Human Rights Monument on Elgin Street.

Roughly a dozen protestors took to the streets near Ottawa police headquarters to protest an increase in the Ottawa's Police Service's (OPS) 2022 budget.

Moving trucks and U-Haul vans were parked in the middle of the intersection at Catherine Street and Metcalfe Street, in the evening hours of Monday, November 23, which caused disruptions to traffic.

Although OPS officers were on the scene to ease traffic and allow pedestrians to get by, many demonstrators blocked vehicles that were trying to get through.

The Ottawa Police Services Board met on Monday, November 22, in hopes of approving next year's budget, but before that could happen, nearly 50 people ended up speaking which carried the meeting longer than expected. 

The board says it will resume its meeting on Tuesday at 3 p.m.

Among those at the demonstration, were the Ottawa Black Diaspora Coalition (OBDC), and the Criminalization and Punishment Education Project (CPEP), who said, through megaphones, that more funding towards mental health services and support services is needed for the city's racialized communities. 

The OBDC also filmed the protest on their Instagram page which showed many officers standing near the protesters.

"A vote in favour of a budget increase is a vote against the BIPOC community survival," said one of the advocates in the video. "Note that we have every intention to continue responding to the active threats made against us, we have been left with no other choice." 

Protestors remained on the scene until midnight and the OBDC says they plan to meet up again on Tuesday, November 23, at the Human Rights Monument on 220 Elgin Street.

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