NEWS
10/08/2019 11:10 EDT

Climate Protesters Shut Down Montreal’s Jacques Cartier Bridge

Police say three people were arrested after activists scaled the structure.

MONTREAL — Climate activists with the Quebec chapter of Extinction Rebellion scaled the structure of Montreal’s Jacques Cartier Bridge on Tuesday, forcing the authorities to close traffic as they mounted an operation to get them down.

Three activists climbed onto the bridge over the St. Lawrence River at about 6 a.m. ET and were up there for a few hours before surrendering without incident.

Police gradually had to block off lanes on the bridge before shutting it completely about 90 minutes after the protest began.

A specialized Montreal fire department unit climbed the structure to ensure the protesters’ safety and convince them to come down.

Quebec’s provincial police force says the three people — one woman and two men — were arrested and will meet with investigators.

In a statement, the group said its aim is to press governments to accept the climate crisis and make policy in line with existing scientific data.

The protest caused massive traffic snarls, as the span is a major link between Montreal and its suburbs to the south. Traffic was restored just after 8:30 a.m.

On Monday, Extinction Rebellion members blocked bridges in Halifax, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver as part of a global effort to lobby for more urgent action against climate change.

Founded in Britain last year, Extinction Rebellion, also known as XR, now has chapters in some 50 countries. The group said the protests Monday were taking place in 60 cities worldwide.

This report for The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 8, 2019.

Thierry Falise via Getty Images
The Jacques Cartier Bridge is seen here in Montreal in October 2018.