After protesters rappelled off the side of the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge on Tuesday morning, where they stayed suspended overnight and well into Wednesday, North Vancouver RCMP said they are now in the process of “apprehending and removing” the protesters.
Greenpeace claimed responsibility for the stunt, tweeting a photo of the incident, and stating the climbers were doing a “brave and beautiful” thing.
Dubbed an “aerial blockade,” Greenpeace said the goal of the individuals, who suspended themselves above the waters of Burrard Inlet, was to prevent an oil tanker from being able to leave the Trans Mountain Terminal in Burnaby.
“The climbers are in the path of the tar sands oil tanker, Serene Sea, which is currently docked at the terminal,” said Greenpeace in a statement on Tuesday morning. “The tanker was scheduled to leave port this morning but is now being blocked from leaving by the climbers.”
Greenpeace said the multinational climbing team forming this unity blockade hails from the indigenous Coast Salish community, BC, Alberta, Quebec, Ontario, Washington State, Mexico, and the UK.
Vancouver Police Const. Jason Doucette told Daily Hive on Tuesday the incident began just before 7:30 am, when police received a report of “a number of people” rappelling from the bridge.
On Wednesday, North Vancouver RCMP said public safety “is the priority,” both for the protesters and for the police, and that updates would be provided “as [the] event unfolds.”