Climate activists disrupt traffic near Vancouver International Airport
Climate activists blocked traffic headed for Vancouver International Airport on Monday while calling for an end to Canada's fossil fuel subsidies.
The group Extinction Rebellion announced plans to "disrupt airport access" beginning at 4:30 p.m. as part of a two-week campaign of daily events designed to draw attention to the global climate crisis.
"There are people here who are willing to enter into civil resistance to the point of arrest," organizer Zain Haq told CTV News. "We expect to be there as long as it takes until the RCMP arrest people."
Extinction Rebellion has focused much of its attention criticizing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's climate leadership, highlighting his government's continued support of the Trans Mountain pipeline.
The protesters have blocked several major intersections and traffic arteries in Metro Vancouver since the campaign began, resulting in a number of arrests.
Ahead of Monday's demonstration, Extinction Rebellion released a statement purportedly from one of the people arrested on Sunday named Bridgette: "I am a biologist. I am a teacher. I am a mother. Today I chose to be arrested – to be separated from my seven-month-old son and five-year-old daughter – because I am so desperate for meaningful action on climate change."
"I want to be able to tell my kids I tried my best to give them a future worth living," it reads.
Richmond RCMP said officers would be working with protest organizers to ensure the demonstration is carried out safely. Authorities recommended that drivers watch for pedestrians in the area of Templeton Street and Grant McConnachie Way.
They also told travellers to plan ahead to ensure they can make it to their flight on time.
In a statement, Vancouver International Airport suggested that travellers consider taking the Canada Line, which connects to YVR from downtown Vancouver in 26 minutes, rather than driving.
The airport also noted its own "commitment to become net zero carbon by 2030."
"As an organization, we share the view that we need to find and advance fossil fuel alternatives for aviation and beyond, and we respect the right to peaceful protest," YVR said.