Climate change protest expected to block Bloor Street Viaduct

Henrietta Strickland
October 8, 2019

Activists with the Extinction Rebellion movement blocking the Walterdale Bridge into downtown Edmonton Monday morning as part of global protests demanding new climate policies.

Extinction Rebellion protesters occupy central London locations including Westminster Bridge, Whitehall and Trafalgar Square.

It is part of an "international rebellion" around the world, with action taking place in cities including Berlin, Madrid, Amsterdam and NY. Organizers said they expected 30,000 people to take part in the United Kingdom protests, and that similar actions would take place in major cities around the world.

The protest has been organized by a group called Extinction Rebellion, which is coordinating similar events across the country Monday including in Halifax and Toronto, where the MacDonald Bridge and Bloor Street Viaduct have been closed by demonstrators.

The group heading the movement, known as Extinction Rebellion or "XR", is seeking to draw attention to what they say is the "climate emergency". "We use civil disobedience to force the government to do something about the climate", a spokesperson said to the broadcaster.

Protesters are calling on the government to "tell the truth" about climate change, act immediately and defer to decisions of a "citizens' assembly" on climate and ecological justice.

"We feel the disruption is justified, warranted and actually long overdue", Extinction Rebellion spokeswoman Jesse Noakes said.

Monday's rally saw hundreds of people march from Belmore Park to Sydney's CBD via Pitt Street.

Among those arrested was 81-year-old Sarah Lasenby, a retired social worker from Oxford.

Fifty people were arrested in Amsterdam after they erected a tent camp on the main road outside the Rijksmuseum, the Dutch national museum.

Protestors covered in fake blood gather around the Wall Street Bull during an Extinction Rebellion demonstration in NY on October 7,2019.

"SORRY that we blocked the road, but this is an emergency", declared placards held by activists in Amsterdam. Some were seated, some chained to a barrel.

At least one protester, seen waving a green flag, climbed on top of the famous bull statue.

By 8am Monday police had made 21 arrests in connection with the protests, after making 11 over the weekend.

In New York's financial district, protesters spattered the Wall Street Bull and themselves with fake blood and lay prone around the sculpture to evoke their fears of a deadly environmental catastrophe.

Members of Extinction Rebellion said police confiscated six vehicles as well as gazebos, portable toilets and bean bags - and have since claimed that the arrests were pre-emptive.

The activists were staging a sit-in, in on the corner of a major intersection near Parliament, blocking buses and other traffic. More than 1,000 activists were arrested, of whom 850 were prosecuted for various public disorder offences.

Dozens of Extinction Rebellion activists have been arrested as protests take place across the globe.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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