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Three men arrested at Avenue Road bridge after recent ban on demonstrations

Toronto police say they arrested and removed three men from a highway overpass where demonstrations were recently banned.

On Saturday afternoon, a group of people gathered at the Avenue Road bridge, located over Highway 401, and attempted to participate in a demonstration, violating a ban announced by police last week.

Police said they gave the people the opportunity to leave the bridge, but the people refused.

Police said three men in their 20s and 30s were arrested and removed from the overpass, and officers have since charged one with mischief and the other two with obstructing police.

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Video footage shows there was heavy police presence in the area.

Click to play video: 'Four arrested following demonstration on Avenue Road bridge'

Four arrested following demonstration on Avenue Road bridge

The arrests comes just days after Toronto Police Service issued a warning to demonstrators, saying the protests posed a threat to public safety and people would be “arrested if necessary.”

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In a statement, Chief Myron Demkiw said the demonstrations, which are being held in an area with a large Jewish population, have left some in the local community feeling “intimidated.”

Police say reported hate-crimes in the city have surged 42 per cent between 2022 and 2023, with antisemitic incidents accounting for 37 per cent of the total.

Reports of hate crimes targeting Jewish people more than doubled from 65 in 2022 to 132 last year, while anti-Muslim, anti-Arab or anti-Palestinian hate crime reports nearly tripled from 12 to 35 over the same period.

— with files from Global News’ Issac Callan and The Canadian Press.

&© 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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