2019-10-16

Police investigation stalls into alleged dust-up during supermarket climate change protest

by Keith Corcoran

With no one identified and no complaint about an alleged assault, the Bridgewater Police Service is left with no investigative avenue to proceed further into an April 27 dust-up in a local supermarket at the same time a climate change demonstration took place.

The incident was caught on camera by a LighthouseNOW reporter waiting to pay for groceries at a nearby checkout aisle.

"Without a victim/complainant we could not proceed in the investigation as there was no indication of any other offence," said Danny MacPhee, the town's deputy police chief. He said it's a similar to "third party complaints" about altercations at drinking establishments where "no one will talk to police on our arrival."

  • <p>KEITH CORCORAN, PHOTO</p><p>Screen grab of an unidentified man showing aggression at a Bridgewater supermarket in April.</p>

MacPhee said the only complaint received by police at the time was about the climate change protesters.

Customers at the Atlantic Superstore got a surprise at the time when a green, orange and purple banner with the words "extinction rebellion and "climate crisis" was draped over the railing on the upper level inside the Davison Drive store.

Another woman and two men stood alongside as the woman touched on subjects such as sea level rise, food supply and the use of fossil fuels. The statement went on for a few minutes before the banner was removed and the four disappeared. But police showed up after store management reported a disturbance and wanted the protesters removed from the property.

Some customers were upset by the disruption and voiced concerns with store officials and directly with the protesters.

A man, who appeared to be using profane language in the direction of the protesters, at one point shows aggressive toward another man and woman before backing off.

Extinction Rebellion activists have been calling for significant action on climate change and want civic governments to declare a climate emergency.

The movement was born in the U.K. last year and has been a springboard for demonstrations all over the globe. Extinction Rebellion seeks better value in news coverage pertaining to climate change, in addition to highlighting the need for changes in behaviour when it comes to existing energy-consumption habits.

The movement participated in so-called bridge-out events October 7; one of which occurred in Halifax and caused temporary traffic restrictions and resulted in arrests.

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