Just after 7:30 a.m., about 10 activists armed with a banner reading “Rebel For Life,” began blocking crosswalks in the roundabout at Bridge and Lancaster streets, holding up traffic for a few minutes at a time.
The group, made up of people between the ages of 23 and 72, blocked one crosswalk at a time, while other members ran out to parked cars to hand out pamphlets detailing the cause.
The activists belong to the local chapter of climate group Extinction Rebellion Canada. Similar protests took place internationally and in other cities across Canada including Halifax, Toronto and Edmonton.
“It’s an international movement that engages in peaceful civil disobedience to bring attention to the climate emergency and to pressure governments to act now,” said Shane Mulligan, one of the members of the Waterloo Region group.
The goal on Monday morning was to raise awareness about climate change and to bring attention to Extinction Rebellion’s three demands.
“The first is that governments tell the truth about the climate and ecological emergency,” said Mulligan.
The second calls for Canada to enact policy that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025 and the third is the creation of citizen assemblies to help oversee the changes, he explained.
The local group also hoped Monday’s action would bring attention to “the need for infrastructure in the city that would encourage people to use bicycles and public transit,” the group said in a news release.
There was mixed reaction to the cause from local commuters on Monday morning. Some honked and some yelled at the group for holding up traffic. There were, however, others who sympathized with the cause — one commuter held up the peace sign to the group.
The protest wrapped up just before 9 a.m.
Source: Waterloo Region Record