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Protesters Target World Police & Fire Games

July 31, 2023 3:01 PM | News


Graffiti sprayed on a pathway in St. Vital Park being used as a 6.5-mile loop of the World Police & Fire Games half marathon. (WPS / HANDOUT)

WINNIPEG — Calls to search two city landfills, anti-police sentiment and an increased level of aggressiveness towards international athletes are trying to cast a negative light on the current World Police & Fire Games being hosted in Winnipeg.

Police were called Sunday night to the athlete’s village at The Forks, where a group of protesters were trying to push through the front gate and surrounding barricades as they chanted derogatory phrases at police.

Police say the group yelled at the athletes to go home and made reference to searching a local landfill for two murdered Indigenous women. The protesters crowded the entrance and lay on the ground, making it difficult for athletes to navigate in and out of the venue.

As the crowd became more aggressive, police say a brick was thrown through the front windshield of a cruiser car. Red paint was also used to place handprints on the surrounding gate and fence.

No injuries were reported and the group dissipated after about two hours.

Vandalism on Games’ half marathon route

Also on Sunday, police responded to graffiti vandalism along the 6.5-mile loop of the World Police & Fire Games half marathon route beginning in St. Vital Park.

Police reported more than 65 phrases including profanity and acronyms used by police abolitionist groups were spray painted on the roadway, walking paths and portable bathroom stalls. It’s believed the graffiti occurred overnight and no arrests have been made.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at (204) 986-6219 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at (204) 786-TIPS.


Graffiti sprayed on a pathway in St. Vital Park. (WPS / HANDOUT)


Graffiti sprayed on a portable sink and toilet in St. Vital Park. (WPS / HANDOUT)

Games’ athlete assaulted

On Friday morning, Winnipeg police say an athlete of the World Police & Fire Games was assaulted while trying to intervene in a fight between two females.

The victim was at a fast food restaurant in the first 100 block of Goulet Street at around 7 a.m. when a police cruiser was flagged down.

One of the females bear sprayed the other female and then sprayed the male victim in the face as he approached. The suspect fled on foot, and the female victim left before being identified or receiving assistance.

A suspect was located walking in the 100 block of Marion Street and taken into custody.

The victim received medical assistance from emergency personnel on scene.

A 25-year-old Winnipeg woman is facing charges of assault with a weapon and possession of a weapon. She was released to appear in court.

The World Police & Fire Games are on now until August 3.