Climate activists have launched another direct action of civil disobedience to draw attention to what they call an "ecological catastrophe".
Extinction Rebellion Vancouver hopes to occupy the Georgia Viaduct and Cambie Bridge today for as long as possible under a slogan of "Save Old Growth. Protect Our Future."
"B.C. has a tiny but precious amount of old growth forest left and every bit of it we destroy will make the climate and ecological emergency worse," Extinction Rebellion Vancouver founding member Laura Lamb said in a news release. "We will lose old growth's ability to sequester carbon, but not only that—in areas of old growth that are destroyed, disasters like loss of species, floods, and fires will increase. Right now we are seeing how that destroys our communities and ways of life."
The events in Vancouver coincide with plans by environmental activists to block busy thoroughfares in Toronto, Ottawa, and other cities as part of what's being called a "national rebellion".
The next protest will take place on September 25, followed by a period of civil disobedience beginning on October 16.
These actions come in the wake of a devastating Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report laying out the scope of changes already taking place and what's about to occur on Earth under current emissions scenarios.
According to this report, many of these transformations will be irreversible for centuries or millennia.
"Human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe," the report states. "Evidence of observed changes in extremes such as heatwaves, heavy precipitation, droughts, and tropical cyclones, and, in particular, their attribution to human influence, has strengthened since the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5)."
Extinction Rebellion Vancouver has four demands:
1. A just transformation in responding to the climate and ecological crisis that is "actively decolonial, prioritizing the livelihood of workers and the rights of those most oppressed by the present system, including our non-human relations".
2. Governments must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency and working with other institutions to communicate the emergency for change.
3. Immediate action to halt the loss of biodiversity and to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions to net-zero by 2025.
4. Create a citizens' assembly to lead decision-making in advancing climate and ecological justice.
Protesters ended up blocking the intersection of Cambie and West Georgia Street near the west end of the Georgia Viaduct. They remained there for a while until police asked them to leave.
When three women, one man, and a 15-year-old male refused this request, they were arrested for mischief. They were taken to jail and have since been released after agreeing to appear in court at a later date.