Climate change protest blocks traffic in Toronto, Edmonton, and other Canadian cities

Founded in Britain past year, Extinction Rebellion, also known as XR, now has chapters in some 50 countries.

"I'm really sorry that we have to inconvenience people, but unfortunately the government has left us no choice, " protester Andrew George said.

Camera IconProtesters block the entrance to Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment during an Extinction Rebellion protest.

Traffic around the city centre was disrupted as about 900 Extinction Rebellion protesters gathered on Stadhouderskade, in front of the Netherlands' national museum, to demand more action to tackle climate change.

They are the latest in a string of demonstrations against climate change. The group said the protests Monday were taking place in 60 cities worldwide.

The protesters sang songs and chanted slogans including "rebellion!" and "the oceans / are rising / and so are we".

The environmental protesters visited every Irish government department building on the locked-down thoroughfare to hand in a letter, signed by over 200 academics in support of Extinction Rebellion's actions.

"We only get one planet and so we're here to try and defend it".

London police said some 135 climate activists had been arrested.

Police say all 18 people were later released without charges. The Victoria police wrote on Twitter, "We are aware of the planned demonstration tomorrow on the Johnson Street Bridge".

"I would expect to see multiple acts of civil disobedience and economic disruption in the CBD throughout the week", Ms Dorge said.

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Defying nearly freezing temperatures in Berlin, activists singing "Solid as a rock, rooted as a tree" gathered at dawn at the Victory Column roundabout near Berlin's Tiergarten park.

Thirty protesters were arrested in Sydney for obstructing traffic, the Guardian reported.

Police eventually blocked off the top of Walterdale Hill and redirected traffic. There are also lane obstructions Monday on Gorge Road West for two blocks between Tillicum Road and Orillia Street, but vehicles will be allowed through.

The rallies came as German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended climate protection measures her government is due to approve on Wednesday but which critics have condemned as unambitious.

A spokesman said they are now trying to "diffuse the situation" and have cordoned off the area so more demonstrators are kept from joining the group.

Vancouver Police say they have a plan in place for Monday's event and will be monitoring the protest and traffic disruptions. The protest went ahead despite a city ban on activists gathering on the road and the protesters ignored police calls for them to move to a nearby square.

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Climate activists blocked one of the city's major arteries into downtown Edmonton during the Monday morning commute.

Protesters in NY doused the city's famous charging bull statue with fake blood as part of their disruption.

At lunchtime on Monday, another 300 people blocked Berlin's central Potsdamer Platz, placing couches, tables, chairs and flowerpots on the road.

One group locked themselves inside a auto parked in the middle of Whitehall close to Downing Street and the Cenotaph - others chained themselves by the arms and head to a hearse parked in Trafalgar Square and glued themselves to scaffolding poles.

  • Sonia Alvarado