Protesters arrested after snarling traffic on Montreal bridge leading to F1 race

Protesters arrested after snarling traffic on Montreal bridge leading to F1 race

Police say they arrested five environmental protesters who snarled traffic on a bridge leading to the Montreal island that hosts the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix.

Police spokeswoman Sabrina Gauthier says the demonstrators, who were charged with obstructing traffic, blocked several lanes on the Concorde Bridge for roughly 20 minutes starting at about 11 a.m.

The protesters are supporters of Last Generation Canada, a self-described “civil resistance” group that has called on the federal government to create a national agency to battle wildfires and citizens’ assemblies to tackle the climate crisis.

The demonstration blocked eastbound lanes on the bridge to Île Notre-Dame hours before F1 drivers revved up for the annual 70-lap race around the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit that rims the island.

Environmentalists point to pollution in criticizing the elite motorsport, which emitted 257,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent — more than the country of Gambia — in 2019, excluding emissions linked to fans’ travel for the global competition.

F1 has pledged to reach net zero carbon by 2030 and make all races sustainable by 2025.

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