Police arrested 20 people after a Monday morning protest that saw activists scale the Parliament building in Ottawa and drape it with banners advocating government action to combat climate change.
Greenpeace protesters climbed the roof of Parliament's West Block on Monday morning. (CBC)Ottawa police said they arrested 19 of the protesters who had climbed on the building and one organizer on the ground.
They will likely be charged with mischief and possibly other offences, a police spokesman said. No one was hurt, and there were no altercations with police.
Christy Ferguson, a Greenpeace spokeswoman, said Mike Hudema, a Greenpeace campaigner from Alberta, was one of the climbers, but she said most of the demonstrators were volunteers.
"They really care about these issues, and they're willing to put themselves on the line," Ferguson said. "They're willing to risk arrest and face those charges in order to do something that they feel is important."
She said the group considers the protest a success since it has attracted attention to the issue and sparked conversation on the Hill.
"It really seems like the message has gotten out," Ferguson said.
"They seem to be talking about it, and I believe Canadians are going to be talking about it. It has been pretty successful.”
Emily Rees, a bystander who saw the protest, said she thought the demonstration would help raise awareness about climate change.
"I think that it was good for them and good to get the word out and good to get awareness to more Canadians, but I do think it's a breach of security for them," Rees said. "I wouldn't be the one out there doing it, but I support them."...It's bound to get awareness to more Canadians that the words "Climategate," "Climaquiddick" and the rest don't compute with these clueless climaholics.