Dozens of demonstrators were blocking a busy intersection with the Climate crisis in downtown Vancouver on Saturday. At midday at the Vancouver Art Gallery Extinction Rebellion’s team in Vancouver rallied and occupied the crossroads between Granville and Georgia streets.
They erected a large pink boat painted with the words “tell the truth,” and held placards saying “act now” and “billions will die.”
The demonstrators are planning to stay on the street for five days as part of the Spring Rebellion campaign to protest government inaction to address the climate crisis. Maayan Kreitzman, spokesman for Extinction rebellion, said that they were waiting for detentions.
“We do not want to cause disruption to people going about their everyday lives, but we have no other choice at this point,” said Kreitzman, in a statement.
“Climate disasters like melting ice caps and huge forest fires get more terrifying by the day, but instead of taking action, the Canadian government is allowing emissions and habitat destruction to increase. This is beyond bad – it’s genuinely scary psychopathic behaviour. I’m doing this for the kids I want to bring into this world.”
Janice Oakley, another demonstrator, urged governments to listen to science and do everything in their power to protect life on Earth.
“Indigenous communities have been naming the devastations and misuses of earth materials since forever, and we settlers are mostly late to the table on recognizing our ways of life are fundamentally interconnected with the wellness and presence of a stable climate, clean air, water, foods, and whole ecosystems. Normal people are stepping up and acting with courage to challenge the legitimacy of government power through peaceful civil disobedience,” Oakley said in a statement.
The police in Vancouver eventually broke down the protest and asked them to clear the crossroads. According to a police statement, most people cooperated. The police rejected five people and arrested them for misfortune.
“At its peak, a group of 150 people blocked the intersection of Granville and Georgia Streets while surrounding a boat,” said spokesperson Const. Tania Visintin. “They blocked traffic in all directions and caused major traffic disruptions.”
Vancouver firefighters assisted with removing the boat.
The Special Report 2018 by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that rapid action to reduce carbon emissions is needed in order to limit the temperature to 1.5 C. In addition, the report notes that carbon reduction will not be sufficient. Countries also have to harvest carbon, plant trillions of trees and people have to turn into a sustainable way of life. In four areas – energy generation, land use, cities, and industry – the IPCC says that “rapid change” is necessary.
Source: The Province, British Columbia