VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Five people were arrested Saturday afternoon during a climate protest the blocked the intersection of Granville and Georgia Streets.
Organized by Extinction Rebellion, the demonstration was the first in a series planned for the coming days.
“On May 1-5th, we will stop business as usual in our own lives, in the lives of the public, and of those in power. We withdraw our cooperation from the systems that are leading us and all our relations to calamity,” says a Facebook post.
The group describes the goal of Saturday’s action in another post.
“Telling the truth isn’t just about numbers on a graph – it’s about communicating the emergency as an emergency. We have seen our government, educational, and media institutions come together to deliver emergency messaging during the covid pandemic. We must do this about the climate and ecological crisis too. And since our most powerful institutions still refuse to do so – we will,” it reads.
“Come with a sign that tells the truth – be it scientific, emotional, local, personal, global or political!”
The group constructed a “Boat of Truth” for the occasion, and set it up in the middle of the busy intersection.
We are being welcomed to the land by elder Shane Point. Please join us now at Georgia and Granville. We need more people now. pic.twitter.com/5nwhXWJ1kr
— Extinction Rebellion Vancouver (@XRVancouverBC) May 1, 2021
According to a spokesperson for the Vancouver Police Department, protesters were arrested when they refused to disembark from the boat.
“At its peak, a group of 150 people blocked the intersection … while surrounding a boat,” says Const. Tania Visintin in a statement.
“They blocked traffic in all directions and caused major traffic disruptions. After allowing the group to peacefully assemble and express themselves for several hours, VPD officers asked the protesters to leave the area so the intersection could reopen. Most attendees were cooperative with police and left the area. Four people remained in the boat, despite multiple requests from police to exit.”
In total, five people would not leave the intersection and were arrested for mischief and intimidation to block a roadway.