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Vancouver’s Burrard Bridge reopens, arrests made after day-long climate change protest

BC, News, BC, News, Burrard Bridge, blockade, climate, protest, activism, traffic,

Vancouver’s Burrard Bridge reopened Monday night more than 12 hours after climate change protesters occupied the span, disrupting traffic.

Vancouver police moved in around 10 p.m. and, after warning protesters, began making arrests.

In a statement, Vancouver police say they arrested 10 protesters for obstruction of justice.

They add the protests were otherwise peaceful, with no major incidents.

Demonstrators with Extinction Rebellion set up the blockade on the bridge around 9:30 a.m. in a bid to force more public attention on climate change concerns.

Cyclists, pedestrians, and emergency vehicles were allowed to pass through the protest.

Vancouver police said they expected traffic delays around the bridge and are asking motorists to plan accordingly.

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Burrard Bridge shut down by climate change protesters
Burrard Bridge shut down by climate change protesters

Protesters assembled at Seaforth Peace Park at the foot of the bridge with plans to march to the structure around 8:30 a.m.

About an hour later, activists walked across the bridge chanting “climate action.”

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“Extinction Rebellion has three demands,” said activist Maayan Kreitzaman.

“The first one is that the government tell the truth and work with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.

“The second demand is that government act now to cut greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025 and halt biodiversity loss immediately, and the third demand create and be led by a citizens’ assembly on climate and ecological justice.”

Climate change activists and drivers clash at Walterdale #BridgeOut blockade in Edmonton
Climate change activists and drivers clash at Walterdale #BridgeOut blockade in Edmonton

Critics say the blockade will lead to more emissions from cars stuck in traffic.

Activist Edison Huang said additional emissions created by the protests are “a small cost to pushing forward with systemic change.”

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Demonstrators in Victoria also took over the Johnson Street Bridge around 3:30 p.m., holding it for about two hours while police diverted traffic.

Some protesters say they are prepared to be arrested as a part of the protest.

Police in Halifax arrested about 18 people and police in Toronto arrested around 12 people in similar protests.

In Edmonton, activists with the Extinction Rebellion movement blocked a major route into downtown Edmonton Monday morning, leading to tense moments between demonstrators and drivers.

Similar protests were planned for approximately 60 cities around the world.