On Monday, October 7, climate strike activists took over the Burrard Street Bridge in Vancouver for over 12 hours to protest climate change and draw attention to the global climate change emergency. While the protest was peaceful with no major incidents, there were 10 Burrard Bridge arrests yesterday by VPD.
The Vancouver Police arrested 10 people between 10:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. after they “refused to leave the bridge despite receiving several requests, and then warnings, from officers,” according to a press release from the VPD.
"Shortly after 9:00 p.m. the protestors began to dismantle and disperse from the area," said Sergeant Aaron Roed from the VPD, in an official statement to Narcity Media. Officers clearing the bridge spoke to a small group of protesters who refused to disperse. "This small group of remaining protestors were arrested for Obstruction of Justice and removed from the area," said Sergeant Roed.
The protest that shut down the Burrard Street Bridge was organized by Extinction Rebellion, a group of nonviolent civil activists who are demanding immediate and meaningful climate change policies from world leaders and politicians. While Extinction Rebellion has chapters around the world, the group was originally started in U.K. last year by Roger Hallam and Gail Bradbrook.
The Vancouver strike saw more than 100 climate change activists take part in demonstrations, and began at 9:30 a.m. in the morning, and ended at 9:30 p.m. at night.
The strike took place despite the cold weather and heavy rain that pelted the bridge, and protestors set up tents to shelter themselves from the rain.
Some activists even set up cooking stations for lunch, and played ball hockey on the four-lane road.
The strike cause delays in traffic, as well as daily commuting. These frustrations were expressed by Vancouverites on social media a day before the climate strike commenced.
Several police officers monitored the protests, while barricades were placed on either end of the Burrard Street bridge to keep the protest contained. The traffic police also diverted cars between the downtown core and the Kitsilano neighbourhood the whole day.
These climate change protests are all part of a global movement that has seen major cities like Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Madrid and Vienna also take part in a similar coordinated protest since dawn on Monday.