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Extinction Rebellion plans to shut down Vancouver traffic again Friday

The climate activists who shut down the Burrard Bridge last week are planning another protest that could also cause traffic chaos. Jill Bennett reports.

The climate change activists who shut down Vancouver’s Burrard Bridge for more than 12 hours last Monday have plans to disrupt traffic once again on Friday.

Extinction Rebellion Vancouver says it will hold a “snake march” through the downtown core to highlight the urgency of action on climate change.

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

“We will be snake marching through downtown with signs, songs and love for our planet,” according to a post on the group’s Facebook page.

“There is no planned route – it will be up to the rebels marching on the day to decide where we are going!”

Burrard Bridge re-opens after activists blocked it
Burrard Bridge re-opens after activists blocked it

Protesters plan to gather at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza at the intersection of Hamilton and Georgia streets at 4:30 p.m.

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About 100 people have indicated they are attending, while about 350 more have indicated they are “interested.”

READ MORE: Here’s how climate change will impact the region where you live

Extinction Rebellion has been engaged in protests in cities around the world, including a weeks-long initiative in London, England.

Protesters say they have three demands of government: “telling the truth” about the urgency of climate change, cutting greenhouse gasses to net-zero by 2025, and creating a citizens’ assembly to lead climate action.

The International Panel on Climate Change’s latest forecast says the world needs to limit global warming to 1.5 C to prevent the most severe impacts of rising sea level and temperature, as well as species loss and extinction.

Climate protester dances on roof of London airport as Extinction Rebellion disrupts terminals
Climate protester dances on roof of London airport as Extinction Rebellion disrupts terminals

In the Oct. 7 demonstration, about 200 protesters massed on the Burrard Bridge for most of the day.

Vancouver police eventually moved in around 10 p.m. and officers arrested 11 people who refused orders to clear the deck.

READ MORE: Swedish activist Greta Thunberg in Edmonton Friday for climate strike

The VPD said those demonstrators would face obstruction of justice charges.

Police defended their approach, which was more tolerant than that of their counterparts in Halifax and Toronto, where officers arrested members of coinciding protests much earlier in the day.

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The VPD says it will be monitoring Friday’s protest and does not anticipate any problems arising from demonstrators.

“The VPD do have plans in place to deal with situations that may arise,” spokesperson Sgt. Aaron Roed said in an email.

“However, for security reasons we would not share publicly what those plans are.”