Police arrest 6 protesters at climate march in downtown Vancouver
VANCOUVER -- Police arrested six climate protesters during a mock funeral service on the streets of downtown Vancouver that was organized to disrupt Black Friday traffic.
The protesters were arrested for mischief, said Aaron Roed, a VPD media liaison officer, in a press release.
"Protestors perched themselves on top of the structures and refused to leave the area, despite several requests, and then warnings, from officers," Roed said in the release, adding that the protest was otherwise peaceful.
The protest was put together by Extinction Rebellion, the same group that blocked traffic on the Burrard Street Bridge for hours earlier this year.
On Friday, the climate activists marched through the downtown core staging a "mock funeral" before stopping at the intersection of Robson and Burrard streets.
Two protesters sat on top of large structures for hours, blocking traffic at the intersection. One of the protesters eventually came down with the assistance of Vancouver police and was led away by several officers. The second protester was arrested by police a short time later.
Some headed west to block traffic at Robson and Thurlow as well.
The protesters carried a black coffin with the words "Change or Die" printed on the side.
Participants were dressed in black and red costumes for what they called a "funeral service for the future of our plant, our ecosystems, and for the lives lost in the climate crisis."
The group started its demonstration at Art Phillips Park behind Burrard SkyTrain station and eventually made their way into the Pacific Centre. They declined to provide a route for the protest in advance so commuters could plan around the disruption.
The protest was meant to interfere with shopping on Black Friday, which the group referred to in a statement as "consumerism's holiest day."
The group said its members were prepared to be arrested.
Other chapters of Extinction Rebellion also staged similar protests around the world on Friday.
Protesters with the group staged a similar march in October that wound its way through Vancouver's downtown core during the evening rush hour.