Angry drivers confront protesters on Lions Gate Bridge in BC

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

Motorists blocked by protesters on Lions Gate Bridge Wednesday morning (June 22) got into an ugly altercation with protesters on the bridge deck.

Drivers prevented from crossing the bridge around 7:30 am during rush hour got out of their cars and two protesters who had parked a van in both lanes began to air their hearts out.

A man who said he was an “old growth logger” tore a protest sign out of the side of the van and pushed one of the protesters away. “I’ve been logging all my life. You don’t know how the world works,” he said.

A woman told protesters that they were not helping to win public sympathy with their actions.

“You make people angry,” she said. “No one leaves here saying ‘Let’s support these guys.’ You piss us off.”

Another driver raised his fists over his head as he yelled, “Who cares about climate change?” adding: “You got your shot, you made your point. Now get the fuck out of here.”

Two longtime protesters, including a man from North Vancouver, were arrested for mischief and “harassment by blocking a lane” by the Vancouver Police Department after officers arrived on the scene.

It’s not the first time logging protesters have disrupted bridge traffic on the North Shore.

Traffic on Highway 1 in West Vancouver was disrupted on June 14 when three protesters blocked the western carriageway at the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal and glued themselves to the road.

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

Three protesters were arrested for the Ironworkers protest but were released after agreeing not to intentionally block or obstruct traffic in any lane in BC

Ben Holt, a 52-year-old computer programmer and resident of North Vancouver, was among the protesters arrested by police in both the recent blockades of Horseshoe Bay and 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 little choice if he wants to draw attention to the cause of halting old logging.

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

“I would ask the audience, before they get out of their cars and confront people, to take a few deep breaths – think about what they are doing. And think about why the protesters are there,” he said.

With video files from Alanna Kelly

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