Protesters arrested while blocking off Toronto's Bloor Street Viaduct
A number of protesters at the Bloor Street Viaduct climate change protest were arrested for blocking the bridge for hours on end and refusing to move.
A rally that was only supposed to last a half-hour was ongoing for several hours and police arrested some protesters for mischief, according to The Canadian Press.
The protest was organized by Extinction Rebellion (XR) Toronto, the local arm of an environmental protest group with demonstrations taking place across the world today in order to demand action on the climate crisis.
Activists began peacefully blocking traffic on the Prince Edward Viaduct between Bloor St. and Danforth Ave. at around 8 a.m. on Monday morning while holding signs, painting, doing yoga, singing and more.
After multiple hours, remaining protesters cleared out and the bridge was reopened, allowing traffic on the viaduct to move freely once again.
Many criticized the protesters for preaching about climate action while forcing cars to idle, but the group says that is distinctly the point.
"We apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused today," reads a statement on the group's Facebook page.
"We are not attempting to shame or blame drivers — we all live in a toxic system and have few good options in our daily lives without system change — but in a car-dependent city interfering with traffic is one of the best ways of interfering with business as usual."
I went for a nice bike ride today. Stopped by #ExtinctionRebellionToronto on the Bloor Viaduct. Friendly protest chanting songs. Police arresting people anyhow, not sure why. Out in force in case the songs got nasty? pic.twitter.com/fb2rBVea8e— Alan Casey (@AlanCasey4) October 7, 2019
While police gave out several warnings to protesters, many refused to move which led to the arrests. The number of protesters that have been arrested is currently unknown.
Cops just warned protestors still blocking bridge that it’s their last chance, will be charged with mischief if they don’t move. Police van is here. They aren’t moving. Chanting “wake up, disobey” pic.twitter.com/Bo2Uw0x9oH— May Warren (@maywarren11) October 7, 2019
"The challenge of global warming is that by the time it hits, it will be too late to change," the group's Facebook post continues.
"So we are hoping to interfere with business as usual now, in order to save the future."
Over 60 cities participated in what XR is calling an "international rebellion" across the globe on October 7.
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