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Ottawa firefighters, police bring down protesters from Hwy. 417 signs, causing delays

Protesters interrupted traffic on Highway 417 on Tuesday, May 28, 2024. (Ottawa Fire Services/X) Protesters interrupted traffic on Highway 417 on Tuesday, May 28, 2024. (Ottawa Fire Services/X)
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A group of protesters forced the closure of several lanes on Highway 417, causing serious traffic delays and collisions in Ottawa on Tuesday morning.

Ottawa Fire Services says on social media that crews were called to Highway 417 and Woodroffe Avenue after two activists climbed gantries above the eastbound and westbound sections of the road. A third activist climbed another gantry near the westbound Pinecrest Road exit.

Firefighters with the help of Ontario Provincial Police safely brought down the protesters.

The protests caused a multi-vehicle collision, OPP said in a news release. There were no injuries reported. 

The protesters were seen holding signs for the group Last Generation Canada, who are calling for the creation of a national firefighting agency to fight growing forest fires.

The group has conducted shutdowns of other key bridges and intersections throughout Ottawa. They are also known to splash paint on artwork inside museums and on buildings to call attention to climate change. 

Ontario Provincial Police confirmed three people between the ages of 21 and 28 were arrested after Tuesday's demonstration. All three were charged with mischief and common nuisance endanger life. 

All three were released and are set to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice at a later date.

Heavy traffic was seen on Highway 417 for approximately two hours and has since cleared.

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