ontario news watch

Five climate protesters arrested after pink paint splashed on PM’s office building

OTTAWA — Five people are facing mischief charges after the building that houses the Prime Minister’s Office was doused with splashes of pink paint.

It is the second such protest in less than a year by Last Generation Canada, the self-described “civil resistance” group that claimed responsibility. 

The group, formerly known as On2Ottawa, is committed to demanding government action on the climate crisis.

Spokesperson Laura Sullivan says the group also wants a national firefighters agency that could better prepare the country for wildfires.

Sullivan says more disruptions can be expected throughout the week.

Ottawa police say five people were arrested while blocking the intersection outside the building and all five face mischief charges.

“We are a non-violent civil resistance campaign,” Sullivan said. 

In 2023, On2Ottawa staged multiple protests and acts of vandalism.

Their pink-paint targets have included a mammoth replica at the Royal B.C. Museum in Victoria; a Tom Thompson painting at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa; and the Toronto sign in Nathan Phillips Square in the city’s downtown.

They opt for pink because “it is a bold and eye-catching colour,” Sullivan said.

She said the organization is an environmental group, but is also focused on drawing attention to the human destruction wrought by climate change.

On2Ottawa protester Casey Hatherly also pleaded guilty to trespassing and paid a $600 fine after being arrested during the 2023 Juno Awards ceremony in Edmonton.

During a performance by singer Avril Lavigne, Hatherly walked onto the stage topless with climate protest statements written on her torso.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 7, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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