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Angry drivers confront protesters at BC’s Lions Gate Bridge

Written by Javed Iqbal

‘Who cares about climate change?’ an angry driver shouted during a verbal altercation after protesters blocked traffic on Vancouver’s Lions Gate Bridge on Wednesday.

Drivers blocked by old growth protesters at Lions Gate Bridge came Wednesday morning (June 22) in an ugly altercation with protesters on the bridge deck.

Drivers who had been prevented from crossing the bridge during rush hour around noon. 07.30, got out of their cars and started giving two protesters who had parked a van across both lanes a part of their minds.

A man who said he was an “old growth logger” ripped a protest sign from the side of the van and pushed one of the protesters. “I have been logging all my life. You do not know how the world works, ”he said.

One woman told protesters they did not help win public sympathy with their actions.

“You make people angry,” she said. “No one wants to leave here and ‘let’s support these guys.’ You piss us off.”

Another driver raised his fists over his head as he shouted, “Who cares about climate change?” adds: “You made your picture, you made your point. Now get the hell out of here.”

Two old growth protesters, including a man from northern Vancouver, were arrested for mischief and “intimidation by blocking a road” by Vancouver Police, after officers arrived at the scene.

This is not the first time logging protesters have disrupted bridge traffic on the North Shore.

Traffic was disrupted on Highway 1 in West Vancouver on June 14 when three protesters blocked the westbound lane near the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal and stuck to the road.

On June 13, another protest from the Save Old Growth group Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing blocked, while a simultaneous protest also blocked the Massey Tunnel.

Three protesters were arrested for the ironworkers’ protest, but were released from custody after agreeing to not knowingly block or obstruct traffic on any road in BC

Ben Holt, a 52-year-old computer programmer and resident of North Vancouver, was one of the protesters arrested by police in both the recent blockades of Horseshoe Bay and the Lions Gate Bridge.

Holt recently told North Shore News that he understands the frustration his actions are causing drivers, but said he feels he has no choice if he wants to draw attention to the reason for stopping afforestation of old growth.

Holt said the protests are getting attention – which is more than writing petitions and acting within the political system has done.

“I want to ask the public, before getting out of their car and confronting people, to take a few deep breaths – think about what they are doing. And think about why the protesters are out there, ”he said.

With video files from Alanna Kelly

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Javed Iqbal

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