Protesters shut down Johnson Street Bridge during rush hour

Protesters shut down Johnson Street Bridge during rush hour

Protesters demanding more accountability from the RCMP blocked Victoria’s Johnson Street Bridge during the Tuesday afternoon rush hour, causing traffic delays in the area.

The bridge was blocked around 4 p.m., cutting access in both directions. Protesters were seen carrying signs such as “abolish the police.”

The Union of BC Indian Chiefs says the shutdown was in solidarity with those who are protesting old-growth logging in Fairy Creek (Ada’itsx) following the release of a video showing the RCMP pepper-spraying a group of demonstrators at the watershed on Aug. 21.

Protesters say they demand accountability from the RCMP and an end to, what they call, the brutalization of anti-old growth logging protestors.

“We are demanding accountability from the police after police brutally attacked land defenders with pepper spray on August 21, 2021. We also want transparency around RCMP tactics against forest protectors and demand that both Victoria City Councillors and B.C.’s MLA’s restrict police from using pepper spray and other supposedly ‘less lethal’ tactics against BIPOC defenders and their supporters,” the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs said in a press release.

RCMP have said their actions were in response to a physical altercation instigated by the protesters that led to an officer being seriously injured. Officers have arrested more than 800 people in the Fairy Creek watershed since enforcement began less than six months ago.

Protesters cleared the bridge at around 6:30 p.m. and traffic resumed as normal.


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