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Weekend car rally in Calgary leads to 100 potential tickets, two arrests

Calgary police are looking to issue more than 100 tickets following a May 16 demonstration made up of vehicle convoys showing support for Palestine.

Calgary Police became aware of plans for the rally that would use vehicles to maintain limited physical contact last week. Participants and organizers were urged to follow all traffic guidelines and to treat public safety as a priority. 

It was initially estimated that 200 vehicles would be participating in the rally. However, roughly 1,000 vehicles attended, many of whom deviated from the planned route downtown, according to police.

The additional traffic caused major congestion in the downtown area, as well as a variety of public safety concerns. 

Police said violations, included vehicles on the wrong side of the road, running red lights, people hanging out of car windows and sunroofs, and significant noise levels.

Calgary 9-1-1 said they received more than 50 complaints from citizens concerned about public safety in the downtown area.

Investigations ongoing

Investigation into video gathered by police is expected to lead to roughly 100 tickets being issued. 

“Attempting to provide tickets at the time of the event may have resulted in escalating the situation with the large group,” read a statement from the Calgary police.

There were also two arrests which occurred during the event. One was for mischief to property and the other was for an altercation. Both of these incidents are still being investigated by Calgary police.

Police said that they appreciated the efforts by rally organizers to consider an approach that follows current public health orders. 

“Regardless of challenges at this event, we vow to continue to work closely with the organizers for future protests that allow for freedom of expression without putting participants, other members of the public or police officers at risk,” read the police statement.

“We would like to stress the importance of protest organizers reaching out to work with us in the planning. It is not uncommon for attendance at these events to exceed the estimates, which can make them very difficult to manage on the ground.”