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Vancouver police arrest five in ‘grand finale’ of climate action protests (PHOTOS & VIDEO)

The protestors locked themselves into a device at the intersection of Burrard and Pacific

Fourteen days of traffic disruption by a Vancouver climate action group came to an end yesterday evening as protestors blocked a major downtown intersection.
 
Extinction Rebellion Vancouver’s first protest in the "14 days of disruption" took place on Oct. 16 and blocked the intersection of Burrard and Georgia streets. Each subsequent day of the fourteen-day rebellion had a specific theme, with the overarching demand of ending all subsidies for fossil fuel projects. For the group’s “grand finale” protest, its members met at Nelson Park the evening of Oct. 29 before marching downtown.


With no clear destination in mind, the demonstrators wound their way through downtown before blocking the intersection at Burrard and Pacific Ave. 

According to social media posts made Extinction Rebellion during the protest, rebels locked themselves into a device called a “hardblock”, in the middle of the intersection. Devices like these are intended to make it more difficult to remove protestors from a given area. 


“VPD officers arrested five people tonight after protesters blocked traffic for several hours downtown,” the VPD tweeted in the hours after the protest. “Three men & two women were taken to jail after refusing multiple requests by VPD to leave the intersection.”

The arrests bring the total to 54, including one in Nanaimo. 



Brent Eichler is an Extinction Rebellion member and President of Unifor Local 950 and told Vancouver Is Awesome in a previous interview that he knew the group’s actions would make locals angry — particularly those who are behind the wheel. 

"We understand that and we accept that there is no other way...because we tried every other way," he stated, adding that the protesters must accept "huge personal costs."

David Suzuki attended Extinction Rebellion's first of "14 days of disruption" on Oct. 16 where he spoke to demonstrators and passersby. 

"You know what the United Nations said in 2019: We are facing a loss of biodiversity, unprecedented — and it threatens the biosphere for humans," he told V.I.A. in a previous interview.

"How can we survive in a world in which humans have taken over the bulk of the planet, eliminated so many ecosystems and species? It's really quite terrifying."

Read a full interview with Suzuki regarding his thoughts on the local protests.

With files from Elana Shepert