The activists who blocked tanker traffic under the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge this week are all facing mischief charges, but still consider the daring demonstration a victory in the fight against Kinder Morgan's pipeline expansion.

A dozen people took part in Greenpeace Canada's protest, including seven who agreed to dangle below the busy bridge for about 36 hours to prevent a loaded oil tanker from leaving the Burrard Inlet.

They were arrested by RCMP officers Wednesday afternoon and brought back to the North Vancouver detachment. Speaking to reporters after their release, the activists vowed to continue the fight.

"This is not the end, by far," said Will George, a First Nations protester who said he took part at the urging of his elders and spiritual leaders. "I'll do whatever it takes to make sure that our rights are heard and not ignored anymore, and to protect our water."

Along with the charges, protesters have been ordered to stay 100 metres away from Kinder Morgan work sites, and warned not to use the Ironworkers bridge except for travel.

They're also accused of jeopardizing the safety of a vessel, a violation of the Canada Shipping Act that carries a maximum penalty of 18 months behind bars and a $1 million fine.

For Greenpeace campaigner Mike Hudema, the message was worth the risk.

He said the purpose of the blockade was to show Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that his decision to spend $4.5 billion buying the Trans Mountain pipeline project was a mistake.

"It violates his commitments to climate change, to Indigenous rights and reconciliation, and of course endangers this entire coastline by taking over 400 tankers into this inlet every single year," Hudema said.

The purchase is expected to be finalized later this summer, but Greenpeace hopes the government will reconsider.

This week’s aerial blockade was one of the most dramatic demonstrations pulled off by pipeline opponents since Trudeau’s government approved the project. It’s unclear whether activists might attempt a similar blockade in the future.

Organizers said they made every effort to ensure the stunt was executed safely, and just hours before their arrests, the activists dangling in climbing harnesses said they felt warm, well-fed and comfortable.

Hudema described his hours suspended in the air above Burrard Inlet as "beautiful and inspiring" thanks to the natural scenery.

Greenpeace said the activists had a system of relieving themselves as well, but did not elaborate.

With files from CTV Vancouver's Bhinder Sajan