A climate change activism group brought its ‘global rebellion’ to Victoria Monday afternoon, with protesters blocking traffic on the Johnson Street Bridge for three and a half hours.
Described as a peaceful event, the occupation included songs, speeches and even some tears, with protesters hoping to build on the momentum of last month’s climate strikes.
Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island (XRVI) says the ‘climate and extinction emergency protest’ is part of a nation-wide #BridgeOut campaign that has had protesters occupy busy bridges in cities across Canada. The campaign also saw protesters take over bridges in Vancouver, Toronto, Edmonton, Montreal and Halifax.
“Shutting down the bridge symbolizes that we are on a bridge to nowhere,” said a statement from Mark Nykanen, an XR spokesperson. “With droughts, deadly heatwaves, and hurricanes wiping out entire islands and cities, nature is sending us a 911 call about the climate emergency. All of us have to be first responders and take action.”
“We face the sixth mass extinction on the planet,” says speaker. pic.twitter.com/fjXSDpzEJ0
— Nina Grossman (@NinaGrossman) October 7, 2019
Protesters occupied the bridge from 3:30 p.m. to close to 6 p.m., halting regular traffic and allowing only cyclists, pedestrians, buses and emergency vehicles to pass.
The Victoria Police Department said they are aware of the event and will be providing additional updates on Sunday and Monday through their twitter account @vicpdcanada.
“As always with public demonstrations and protests, our focus will be on ensuring public safety at the event,” said Bowen Osoko, VicPD Spokesperson.
Premier John Horgan also weighed in late Monday morning. “I don’t believe it’s ever a good idea to frustrate other peoples’ lives to make your point.”
“We’re in the middle of a federal election campaign. There are many issues in the commons, and people want to raise those issues to the top of the debate. There is a federal debate this evening and I’m certain that climate action and climate change will be part of that.”
A press release from the organization says, “we apologize for any hardships that take place, but for decades, governments have failed to act on the climate crisis to protect all of us, leaving citizens with little recourse.”
Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.