Motorists travelling along the Trans Canada Highway in B.C. can expect disruptions starting Monday (Jan. 10) as Extinction Rebellion protesters have pledged the route in or near Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo and Revelstoke.
According to a press release, the group will begin by blocking highway off-ramps multiple times per week but that disruptions would escalate unless old-growth logging is stopped in B.C.
“We are declaring the Trans Canada Highway a site of permanent nonviolent civil resistance. January 10 onwards, the tactics will escalate in their frequency and extent if the government delays action,” said Zain Haq, a spokesperson and organizer for the campaign, and a student at Simon Fraser University. Haq is also the national action and strategy coordinator for Extinction Rebellion, a group that has previously blocked intersections in Vancouver and other cities, and most recently blocked the road into the Vancouver International Airport.
Brent Eichler, the president of Unifor local 950 – which represents Bell technicians in western Canada – and an organizer for the campaign, said that the new “civil resistance movement” formed because the provincial government “failed to protect B.C. families from the now regular disasters besetting our cities and towns.”
According to the release, more than 15 people will risk arrest on the first day of the campaign. The group is asking motorists to drive no faster than 30 kilometres per hour at the protest sites.