A climate change protest group on Monday blocked bridges in various countries including Canada, the U.K., India, Europe and Australia.
Extinction Rebellion, an organization formed a year ago in a small English town, marshaled tens of thousands of protesters to block bridges and traffic.
The protests, designed to draw attention to the calamity of climate change, saw at least 135 arrested in London and in the Netherlands, police detained about 80 demonstrators in the capital of Rijksmuseum. In both cases, protesters were blocking roads.
In Canada, bridges were the target, and major ones were shut down in Halifax and Toronto, causing gridlock with other protests slated for Vancouver.
Extinction Rebellion member Patrick Yancy said he was sorry to cause motorists so much trouble in the Nova Scotia capital of Halifax.
“We certainly apologize and we very much empathize with those folks,” he said. “They’re absolutely right to be frustrated.
“They certainly should not be having to deal with this situation. None of us should be – this (climate change calamity) should have been solved a long, long time ago. Hopefully we’ll not have to do this sort of thing again,” he added.
In Madrid, a few dozen protesters chained themselves together on an elevated road over a major highway.
Protests were also held in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Mumbai, India. In Sydney, Australia dozens were arrested for blocking traffic. In Wellington, New Zealand, protesters staged a “die-in” outside a bank. In Berlin, traffic was blocked near the Brandenburg Gate.
Some of the protests were to continue for two weeks, organizers said.
By Barry Ellsworth in Trenton, Canada