The Vancouver sector of the global climate change activist group known as Extinction Rebellion have begun their five day “Spring Rebellion.” The Rebellion started off this past Saturday, when the group intentionally blocked the Granville and Georgia intersection with their bodies and a bright pink boat with the demand “Tell the Truth” painted on it.
On Monday, my colleague Matt Brevner and I went to cover day three of the Rebellion, when the group planned to sound a climate change alarm by blocking the Lions Gate Bridge, which over 60,000 commuters cross daily.
A post on the group’s Facebook page says they “risk abuse, accidents, or arrests” because those “in power refuse to listen to reason, science, or Indigenous nations that say ‘no.’”
Despite this feeling of being unheard, an apparent leader of the group encouraged protesters to ignore Rebel News when we arrived at the protest, which prevented us from freely covering their goal of informing the public.
Also contradictory to the group’s supposed “COVID safety plan” that claimed the protesters should distance from one another, that same man and another protester aggressively pushed into me in an effort to intimidate me out of walking along the public sidewalk to cover their protest.
Thankfully, we had hired two bodyguards who quickly intervened, and I was able to continue covering the protest.
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If you watch the full report, you will see that some of the other men at the protest did not agree with pushing female journalists and forcible suppression of the press. We were able to interview two gentlemen, including Martin Williams from the Referendum Party of Canada. Both were in support of the protesters’ message, but had different opinions on the effectiveness of preventing the public from commuting as a path to change.
Ultimately, the Vancouver police prevented the obstruction of the iconic suspension bridge and after we finished our report, ended up arresting seven of the Extinction Rebellion Vancouver protesters.
In a statement, VPD spokesperson Sergeant Steve Addison said, “While we respect peoples’ democratic right to peacefully assemble and express their views, we also understand how frustrating and inconvenient it is for people trying to move around the city when roads and bridges are blocked,” said Sgt. Addison in a release.
“The Lions Gate Bridge is a critical piece of infrastructure used by tens of thousands of people daily, including motorists, transit riders, and emergency services. Closing this bridge for any length of time would guarantee gridlock and could put lives at risk.”
Rebel News was the only press with boots on the ground to report up close on what took place on day three of the Spring Rebellion. I’m not sure I even blame mainstream media for keeping their distance, after the threats to my personal safety that I experienced while bringing you this story.
With that said, I will not be intimidated out of bringing the people the other side of the story.
A special thank you goes to all of our amazing supporters who donate at JournalistDefenceFund.com to keep our reporters safe, both physically and legally.