A group of demonstrators calling on the B.C. government to take urgent action on the climate emergency plans to block two of Vancouver's major bridges in the coming days.
Extinction Rebellion’s (XR) Vancouver group will kick things off Saturday (May 1) at the Vancouver Art Gallery at noon and then peacefully occupy the intersection of Granville and Georgia streets.
Saturday's event is the first of five days of "Spring Rebellion" in the city that will include a coalition of XR Vancouver members, allies, and concerned citizens. They plan to camp in downtown Vancouver on the streets for the duration of the five-day campaign and dozens of arrests are expected, explains a news release.
The action will feature speakers, music, and art, and mask-wearing and physical distancing will be required at all times.
On Sunday, the group plans to shut down the Granville Street Bridge to "highlight Extinction Rebellion's second demand: Act Now."
On Monday, the group plans to shut down the Lions Gate Bridge to "say no to fossil fuel exports in waters of the Salish Sea, and to demand a Citizens' Assembly on climate and ecological justice."
Following these two major disruptions, Extinction Rebellion will host a bike/skate for climate and educational sessions with elders and members of host first nations on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“This is a call to mass mobilization among everyday people and an urgent call to government action to do what is morally required to protect life on earth. This isn't some flash-in-the-pan action. We need to have the courage to look at the truth. To listen to the science," said Janice Oakley, a volunteer.
Extinction Rebellion added that numerous scientists in recent UN reports have documented the rapid action necessary to stop carbon emissions and halt biodiversity loss.
Maayan Kreitzman, a volunteer coordinator, said: “We do not want to cause disruption to people going about their everyday lives, but we have no other choice at this point. 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.”
The "Spring Rebellion" will highlight the group's demand to “tell the truth” about the climate and ecological emergency, calling on governments to launch emergency public education and communication campaigns and media institutions to report the news of the emergency with the emphasis and impact it deserves.
On May 1-3 in Vancouver, unceded coast Salish Territory, we will engage in multi-day disruption to expose the deep systemic flaws in our government and justice system - and demand action. We will peacefully occupy bridges and streets and make our voices heard. 1/— Extinction Rebellion Vancouver (@XRVancouverBC) April 8, 2021
Four-day protest journey to Victoria
A couple of weeks ago, Extinction Rebellion travelled from Vancouver to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in Victoria on its “Walk for Mother Earth."
When asked if the group was concerned about the current travel advisory against nonessential travel, Kreitzman said: "This journey does constitute travel for essential purposes.
"What would be more essential than the protection of our life-support systems? Our governments are exacerbating the climate and ecological emergency rather than addressing it as a true emergency, so we have to act now."