Anyone attempting to leave downtown Victoria on Monday via the Johnson Street Bridge may have difficulties this afternoon.
A local environmental group says it will block traffic on the bridge for a sit-in and vigil at 5:30 p.m. to protest the causes of climate change.
Supporters say they will block traffic on the bridge for 12 minutes, one minute for each of the 12 years they say the world has left to address the climate crisis. The rally will also include a two minute moment of silence to acknowledge the depth of the climate emergency.
Victoria Police are aware of the groups’ plan and are working to minimize the impact to commuters, while reminding participants that blocking a highway as part of a protest is against the law.
The sit-in and vigil is being organized by a group on Vancouver Island to coincide with the first day of the annual UN Climate Change conference, this year happening in Poland.
“This gathering is in solidarity with people world-wide taking bold action demanding governments transition to a 100% renewable energy future; and with Indigenous front line communities, from Secwepemc territory to the Unist’ot’en Yintah, holding the line to protect water, land and life and to stop dangerous fossil fuel expansion across unceded homelands,” the group wrote in a statement on the event.
The group says this is the first action to be taken in a “graduated-escalation of local, non-violent people-powered direct-action that will continue until dramatic climate action is taken.”
Participants are calling on the governments of Canada and B.C. to abandon plans for expanding the Alberta tarsands and continued fracking, and instead reallocate their funding towards green energy projects as part of an aggressive plan to meet UN targets.