Protesters are planning to shut down Victoria’s Johnson Street Bridge for part of Monday to raise awareness about climate change.
The protest, organized by the environmental activism group Extinction Rebellion, will close the bridge from around 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Organizers say emergency vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists will be allowed through.
“We are aware of the planned event on Monday and, as always with public demonstrations and protests, our focus will be on ensuring public safety at the event,” Bowen Osoko, acting Victoria police spokesperson, said in a statement.
Other protests are being planned across Canada, including the Burrard Bridge in Vancouver and the Macdonald Bridge in Nova Scotia.
“The #BridgeOut campaign points out that the bridge to the future is being demolished by big oil, and oily politicians,” a Facebook page about the protest says.
In April, Extinction Rebellion UK members held peaceful protests at four different sites in London, England, including the Waterloo Bridge, for about a week. More than 600 people were arrested, and the action made the climate emergency an unavoidable topic of conversation across England. This escalation of tactics is the minimum of what’s necessary to give young people a fighting chance at a decent future. We regret that ordinary people will be frustrated by the commute disruption, but the collapse of human society would be a much bigger inconvenience.”
The Bay Street bridge is still closed to eastbound traffic due to construction, which will mean significant traffic delays. Drivers can reroute through Saanich.
However, the road will be fully closed at Gorge Road West and Albina Street for repairs following a sinkhole. The westbound lane at Harriet Road and Gorge Road West will also be blocked.
The section between the closure and Harriet Road on Gorge Road West will remain open for local traffic and may travel eastbound passed Harriet Road and Gorge Road West. Eastbound traffic on Gorge Road West before Albina Street will be detoured towards Tillicum Road.
On Sunday, VicPD tweeted “With any public demonstration and protest, our focus will be on ensuring public safety.”
We are aware of the planned demonstration tomorrow on the Johnson Street Bridge. With any public demonstration and protest, our focus will be on ensuring public safety. Expect traffic delays in the area. Follow us on Twitter for updates #yyjtraffic
— Victoria Police (@vicpdcanada) October 6, 2019