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Extinction Rebellion Bridge Blockades Draw Attention, Produce Irate Drivers

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Snarled rush hour traffic, irate drivers, the occasional fistfight and thrown bicycle, hundreds of arrests, and mostly satisfied protesters were the main results after Extinction Rebellion orchestrated a series of bridge closures in Europe and North America to protest governments’ inaction on the climate crisis.

The morning protests “went well,” Halifax ER member Adam Baden-Clay told [1] the Star Halifax, after 18 people were arrested for blocking the MacDonald Bridge between Halifax and Dartmouth, NS.

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“It feels awkward to say that because, of course, by things going well it’s meant we disrupted a lot of people,” he said. “And nobody wanted to do that, but it was necessary.”

The protesters generally said they felt they’d succeeded in pressuring governments to adopt binding targets for faster, deeper carbon cuts.

CBC says [3] protests that blocked bridges in Halifax, Toronto, Edmonton, Kitchener, Victoria, and Vancouver led to dozens of arrests across Canada.

“Mostly, we want people in power to listen,” said Victoria organizer Mark Nykanen. “If [people are] inconvenienced we’re really honestly sorry about that, but extinction and the impacts of the climate crisis are going to be a huge inconvenience.”

In Calgary, protesters handed out Timbits [4] rather than blocking traffic for more than a few minutes at a time.

“What we hope to get out of this is we want to make Calgarians, Albertans, and Canadians aware of the urgency of the need for action,” said local spokesperson Andy Kubrin. “And we want them to join us pressing the case to government that we need to take action in this crisis.”

Things got tense in Edmonton, where the bridge blockage led [5] to fistfights, followed by police negotiations that prompted ER organizers to shut down their protest ahead of schedule.

“I think there are definitely channels that would be more suited to doing this and not interrupting people’s lives,” commuter Jack Haworth told CBC. “It’s frustrating. I think everyone here has a sensitivity to climate, but there are definitely better ways to channel that…rather than punishing people for trying to get work in the morning. It’s ridiculous.”

“I understand that this is going to disrupt and inconvenience a lot of people,” said [6] Erin Armstrong, one of the 10 Edmonton protesters. “But I feel there’s nothing else that is going to reach out and wake people up.”

But local city councillor Aaron Paquette, who sponsored a successful climate emergency motion for Edmonton, challenged ER’s conclusion that the protest was a win. “

They feel no one is listening and that their issue needs heightened attention. I get it,” he tweeted [7]. But disrupting people’s daily commutes “just pushes hearts away from the message”.

International media report 135 arrests [8] in London, England, 1,000 protesters [9] in Berlin, hundreds [10] in Paris, and fake blood thrown on the charging bull statue on Wall Street in New York.

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1 Comment To "Extinction Rebellion Bridge Blockades Draw Attention, Produce Irate Drivers"

#1 Pingback By Boris Johnson’s Dad Declares for Rapid Carbon Cuts After UK PM Dismisses Protests – Enjeux énergies et environnement On October 10, 2019 @ 9:13 PM

[…] have been arrested in London since protesters began blocking roads and bridges on Monday, part of a global wave of protests that have also hit New York, Paris, Berlin, and Madrid,” the Associated Press reports. That […]