Extinction Rebellion plans to shut down Halifax bridge to force action on climate change

Aerial view of the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge, also known as the 'old bridge.' (Halifax Harbour Bridges photo)

It's still almost a week away, but people in Halifax are being encouraged to prepare for what could me a nightmarish commute next Monday morning.

An international group says it will shut down one of the harbour bridges to back demands for more action on climate change.

Extinction Rebellion took part in last Friday's climate march in Halifax, which was one of the largest protests in Halifax in recent-memory. An estimated ten-thousand people of all ages – but led by young people --  spoke up about climate-change and urged political leaders to make the large-scale changes necessary to reduce humanity's carbon footprint.

As it turns out, they're not finished speaking as plans are in the works for a demonstration to block the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge for the Monday morning commute.

Similar protests are being staged in 60 cities around the world.

"Our main goal here is to try to shake our key decision-makers and the politicians out of this stupor they've been in, and get them to take some real action," said Patrick Yancey of Extinction Rebellion.

Halifax Regional Coun. Richard Zurawski  who's also running for the Green Party in the federal election thinks it's a great idea. He says being late for work one day next week is worth it in the bigger picture.

"Being stopped by young people who say we have to do something is a tiny, tiny price to pay -- a little inconvenience -- for the fact that we're going to do ourselves out of a culture," Zurawski said.

There've been a number of peaceful demonstrations in recent weeks.

Halifax police say they respect those freedoms, but they are  monitoring plans for what will happen Monday.

"Certainly, if you are in violation of the Motor Vehicle Act, or the Criminal Code, then you could certainly be arrested," said Halifax Regional Police spokesman Const. John MacLeod.

Bridge officials say safety is paramount, but the CEO says motorists might want to consider car-pooling or some other mode of transportation that won't be affected by bridge being blocked.

"Take the ferry, walk, or bicycle," said Steve Snider, the Halifax Harbour Bridges CEO.