Police arrest suspected Vancouver protest ringleader

Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:48pm EST
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By Allan Dowd

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - The suspected ringleader of two recent anti-Olympic protests in Vancouver that vandalized stores and vehicles has been arrested, police said on Tuesday.

Guillame Joseph-Marc Beaulieu, 27, led a group of about 100 black-masked anarchists who spray-painted vehicles and smashed storefront windows as they marched on Saturday, police said.

Beaulieu, charged with mischief, also led a group that blocked a street on Friday and forced organizers to re-route a relay transporting the Olympic flame to the opening ceremonies, police said.

A total of 11 people have been charged in connection with the protests, including one U.S. citizen, and police said more arrests were pending as the investigation continues.

Games officials had estimated 100,000 people would be in downtown Vancouver during the opening ceremony, and crowds celebrating the Games since they began have vastly outnumbered those protesting the event.

(Editing by Frank Pingue)