All Press Releases
September 7th, 2023
Ottawa, Ontario, September 7, 2023 – unceded Anishinaabe Algonquin territory.
After 2 weeks of peaceful civil disobedience in the capital, On2Ottawa claims that their fundamental charter rights have been infringed upon by the capitol police and the court system in Ottawa, after over 20 arrests.
On2Ottawa claims there have been instances of suppression of 1) freedom of speech, 2) freedom of expression, 3) freedom of movement, and 4) freedom of association and peaceful assembly, all of which are explicitly protected by The Charter.
“I have been banned from the province of Ontario, for nonviolently sitting down on the road to demand protection for our communities and firefighters. Restricting my freedom of movement in such a severe way is a violation of my charter rights,” said Ginny, one of the individuals arrested by Ottawa police. Other individuals have been banned from large areas of the city, while those involved with the Portage Bridge protest have been banned from Gatineau.
On2Ottawa claims there has been an instance of a protestor being banned entirely from advocating on behalf of the group publicly, as well as any association with members of the group. The group says this is a violation of their charter right to free speech, freedom of expression, and freedom of association.
The group claims that it will put forward an application to an Ontario judge to strike down release conditions that they deem unreasonable at best and most likely a violation of people’s Charter rights.
On2Ottawa says that the current action phase is coming to an end, with the exception of a final slow march this Friday, and that the government will have a few weeks to implement a National Fire Fighting Agency before the group returns with a more disruptive action phase.
CLIMATE ACTIVISTS CALL OUT GOVERNMENT FOR IMPOSING UNCONSTITUTIONAL RESTRICTIONS ON PEACEFUL PROTESTORS
September 5th, 2023
Ottawa, Ontario, September 5th, 2023 - unceded Anishinaabe Algonquin territory.
3 Supporters of On2Ottawa stopped highway traffic during morning rush-hour by sitting on exit 118 of the Trans-Canada highway leading into Ottawa.
On2Ottawa claims that as a result of the Prime Minister and the government not adequately responding to the call for a National Fire Fighting Agency, the group's actions have escalated. Since On2Ottawa disruptions began on August 21st, 2023, 21 people have been arrested to demand the creation of a National Firefighting Agency.
“Why is our own government refusing to protect communities that are being evacuated and the tens of thousands of firefighters who are risking their lives to defend their communities? We believe that the government can create a National Firefighting Agency,” says Laura Sullivan, a 24-year-old member of On2Ottawa and one of the people arrested today.
On2Ottawa claims its demands are not radical, and are actually ‘no-brainers’. The group points to the fact that experts and fire-chiefs alike are also calling for federal action to prevent and respond to Canada’s out of control wildfires.
“50,000 full time firefighters will result in jobs for ordinary people and it will give benefits to many volunteers who are already risking their lives for our country. This is the least we can offer them. We know through COVID-19 that it’s possible to turn things around on a dime when we accept that we are in an emergency,” says Laura Sullivan.
On2Ottawa claims this is the last week of civil disobedience for the time being, allowing the government 8-10 weeks of peace wherein government officials have the opportunity to publicly commit to establishing a National Firefighting Agency that has 50,000 professional firefighters by 2024.
“I’m doing this because I’m so worried about the future and my little boy and all the children. I don’t see the government taking action… We've seen horrible smoke and heard horrible reports about the fires and Trudeau is tone-deaf about the fires, he’s not doing anything… He’s failed us. Our government has failed us,” says Jinni, a mom from Vancouver Island.
On2Ottawa states that continued inaction on the wildfires by November, 2023, will result in larger acts of nonviolent civil disobedience in the capital.
3 ARRESTED IN TRANS-CANADA HIGHWAY DISRUPTION BY ON2OTTAWA
On2Ottawa stops highway traffic on exit 118 of the Trans-Canada Highway as the calls for a National Firefighting Agency continue
September 1st, 2023
Ottawa, Ontario, September 1st, 2023 - unceded Anishinaabe Algonquin territory. Starting from Confederation Park at 5:30pm EST, On2Ottawa supporters slow-marched down Elgin street to demand the creation of a National Firefighting Agency by 2024. While public marches are completely legal, city police suggested possible arrest of slow marchers just last week, and that threat came to fruition during the slow march this evening. These are the first arrests arising from public marches with On2Ottawa.
“We understand that police need to do their jobs, and so do other first responders such as firefighters. Because of government and citizen inaction alike, firefighters aren’t able to do the job of protecting Canadian communities and lands from wildfires. The emergency isn’t over and On2Ottawa’s reasonable demand still stands - Canada must establish a National Firefighting Agency,” says Laura Sullivan, who spoke at the march today.
On2Ottawa has been in the nation’s capital for the last 2 weeks disrupting business-as-usual via roadblocks, slow -marches, and publicity actions such as throwing pink paint on a famous painting in the National Gallery of Canada. The group has received public criticism and support alike, and encourages others to get involved with On2Ottawa to demand appropriate wildfire response from the government. On2Ottawa believes that citizens have a moral duty to engage in direct nonviolent action when all other avenues for change have been tried.
“It’s fine to have criticisms about what we’re doing. We have criticisms, too. But our criticisms are directed at government inaction, particularly inaction on the wildfire emergency we’re experiencing across the nation. The government is expressly responsible for national defense and upholding the rights of its citizens and it’s very possible to have a National Firefighting Agency for Canada’s disaster prevention,” says Josh Pringle.
Meanwhile, says On2Ottawa, the government continues to sit idly by and watch the country burn.
2 ARRESTED DURING ON2OTTAWA SLOW MARCH TO DEMAND NATIONAL FIREFIGHTING AGENCY
2 On2Ottawa supporters marching in demand of a National Firefighting Agency were arrested during today's slow march
august 31st, 2023
Ottawa, Ontario, August 31st, 2023 - unceded Anishinaabe Algonquin territory. 4 Supporters of On2Ottawa, a non-violent civil resistance group, stopped traffic this morning by sitting on the Gatineau side of the Portage Bridge.
On2Ottawa states that disruptions to business-as-usual in the capital city will continue for another week-and-a-half. This statement comes after another supporter of On2Ottawa splattered paint over the Northern River, a famous landscape painting by Tom Thomson, in the National Gallery of Canada just yesterday.
“Canadians need to reevaluate what we assume to be sacred, a liveable future or pieces of art, because the most sacred things - homes, communities, and lives - are being destroyed because of government negligence and it’ll continue to happen until more Canadians demand differently, so join us,” says Xavier Bergeron, who was arrested today on the bridge.
On2Ottawa is demanding that the federal government establish a National Firefighting Agency that employs 50,000 professional firefighters by 2024. The group says that deploying the national armed forces domestically is a misuse of both the army and Canadian resources. On2Ottawa is pushing for the federal government to establish proactive measures, such as a national firefighting agency, to combat natural disasters that do not abide by provincial or territorial borders.
“And look, it’s serious. What we’re seeing now - all these heat waves and wildfires and high temperatures across the globe - that is only the beginning, and that is frightening '' says Eric Schiller, an 87 year old man and former civil rights activist, who was arrested with John Lewis in the 1960s. He was also arrested in the block today. “And so, to sit back and be stunned and be paralyzed by it - it’s not an answer for me.”
4 ARRESTED AS ON2OTTAWA DISRUPTS PORTAGE BRIDGE
Civil resistance group On2Ottawa stops traffic again, this time from the Gatineau side of the Portage bridge, to demand the federal government create National Firefighting Agency
AUGUST 29TH 2023
Ottawa, Ontario, August 29th, 2023 - unceded Anishinaabe Algonquin territory.
At 12:00pm this morning, a supporter of On2Ottawa tossed washable pink paint onto a Tom Thomson painting, at the National Gallery, in Ottawa. This was done to draw attention to On2Ottawa’s demand that Canada implement a National Firefighting Agency that employs and trains 50,000 professional firefighters by 2024.
The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs and other experts have recommended that a firefighting agency on the federal level would help prepare communities for and better prevent out-of-control fires. While some politicians have called for similar measures, the government continues to be reluctant to act on expert recommendations.
“Canada’s fossil fuel industry is contributing to climate change, and we’re seeing the effects as our nation’s forests burn. Our leaders have failed to take action on this unprecedented crisis. Why do we protect paintings of landscapes, and not the land itself? Canada must take action, we must establish a national firefighting service as the first step,” says Kaleb Suedfeld.
On2Ottawa says the purpose of this action is to increase the popularity of knowledge of the demand to create a national firefighting agency. On2Ottawa supporters believe that transgressing upon social norms becomes necessary when nothing else has worked.
On2Ottawa states that if the Prime Minister claims to be a world leader in tackling climate change, he needs to start by taking care of our firefighters and communities.
Further disruption in the capital is expected to continue for another week-and-a-half.
MAN ARRESTED AFTER THROWING PINK PAINT ONTO NORTHERN RIVER PAINTING BY TOM THOMSON
A supporter of On2Ottawa splatters paint on famous landscape painting to urge government action to better protect communities and natural landscapes in the real world
AUGUST 28TH 2023
Ottawa, Ontario, August 28th, 2023 - unceded Anishinaabe Algonquin territory.
At 7:45am this morning, supporters of On2Ottawa blocked vehicle access from the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge as an act of nonviolent civil-disobedience. This was done in order to demand the creation of a National Firefighting Agency that employs and trains 50,000 professional firefighters.
“I want to look at my children and assure them that the Canadian government cares about their future and is doing its best to quell the out-of-control wildfires; but, when the government isn’t making moves towards no-brainer measures such as the creation of a National Firefighting Agency, I can’t say this in good-faith,” says Xavier Bergeron.
Protests continue as banks direct over 250% towards oil and gas, insurance companies consider hiking premium costs, with the federal government stalling in providing adequate support for the safety of Canadians by establishing a coordinated firefighting force on a national level.
“I am doing this because I don’t see any action by our Prime Minister, and I am demanding that the Prime Minister takes appropriate action to do what needs to be done to save our communities and protect our firefighters,” said Zoey, a 22 year old student from Vancouver Island, who was arrested for the 2nd time today for demanding the creation of a National Firefighting Agency.
On2Ottawa says that if the Prime Minister claims to be a world leader in tackling climate change, he needs to start by taking care of our firefighters and communities.
Further disruption in the capital is expected to continue for another two weeks.
2 ARRESTED AS TRAFFIC ON MACDONALD-CARTIER BRIDGE STOPPED BY PEOPLE DEMANDING THE CREATION OF A NATIONAL FIREFIGHTING AGENCY
As banks continue to fund oil and gas, insurance companies and the federal government delay taking responsibility for the wellbeing of wildfire victims; meanwhile, the country continues to burn
AUGUST 25TH 2023
Ottawa, Ontario, August 24th, 2023 - Unceded Anishinaabe Algonquin territory. On Friday, August 25th, starting at 5:30pm from Confederation Park, On2Ottawa will be leading a march that is open to the public.
This peaceful march follows a week with 2 roadblocks and 9 arrests to demand that the government take appropriate and timely action on the wildfire crisis. The solution, says On2Ottawa, is the creation of a national firefighting agency that trains and employs 50,000 professional firefighters.
“We invite the police to join the march in support of their fellow first responders and citizens. If they are unable to join, then we ask that they at least facilitate it,” says Laura Sullivan, an On2Ottawa volunteer spokesperson.
In conversation with On2Ottawa liaisons, the Ottawa Police have said that anyone who attempts to march on a road without police permission can be subject to arrest and charges may be laid. On2Ottawa supporters believe that police are obligated to uphold charter rights and facilitate peaceful marches.
“It is our fundamental charter right to peacefully march in our capital city. This city belongs to the people of Canada, not to bureaucrats alone, and the charter is meant to benefit all people, not just people that police choose to support,” says Xavier Bergeron, a volunteer spokesperson for On2Ottawa.
This threat of arrest occurs during the worst fire season on record and the hottest July in the world to date, with over 55,000 people currently evacuated from their homes in Canada. Lawmakers and fire fighting professionals continue to call for meaningful federal action to address the wildfire crisis.
POLICE THREATEN TO ARREST ON2OTTAWA SUPPORTERS FOR MARCHING TO DEMAND THE CREATION OF A NATIONAL FIREFIGHTING AGENCY
Following a week of 2 roadblocks with 9 arrests, supporters of On2Ottawa will conduct a public march through the capital and encourage others, including police, to join
AUGUST 23rd 2023
Ottawa, Ontario, August 23rd, 2023 - unceded Anishinaabe Algonquin territory.
6 On2Ottawa supporters were arrested during morning rush-hour for nonviolently disrupting the Laurier Bridge to demand a National Firefighting Agency. Protestors urge the government to act as wildfires worsen.
“The smoke was so thick from wildfires last weekend that we had to take our little boy to the mall, he’s two,” says Sara Hall, a mother of a 2-year-old who got arrested at today’s demonstration.
The 6 were arrested near the Canadian Firefighters’ Memorial, a national monument to all firefighters in Canada and their contributions to the health, safety and prosperity of the nation. Supporters of On2Ottawa are demanding that the federal government pass appropriate legislation to implement a National Fire-Fighting Agency with 50,000 professional firefighters to tackle Canada’s unprecedented wildfires.
“I see all of my peers and my friends and family and we’re suffering and we’re looking at these devastating fires… and I don’t see any action,” says Zoe, a 22-year-old student from Vancouver Island.
This demand comes as Fire Chiefs call to support our firefighters after years of decreasing funding towards provincial firefighting efforts across the country.
“I feel like my one job, the most important job right now, as a mother to a small child is to protect him, that’s it. And unfortunately that means getting into the road and breaking the law. It’s the only thing that makes sense at this point in time, and it’s the only thing that makes sense if I want him to have a future,” says Sara Hall.
On2Ottawa protestors demand an Act of Parliament to address the unprecedented threat to life, liberty and security of persons due to the wildfires. They believe that the best way to protect Canadians from fires is through the creation of a national firefighting agency that can appropriately coordinate firefighting efforts, thereby supporting our communities and firefighters.
6 ARRESTED AS CANADIANS DEMANDING A NATIONAL FIREFIGHTING AGENCY BLOCK LAURIER AVENUE BRIDGE IN OTTAWA
As Liberal Cabinet gather in P.E.I, On2Ottawa stops traffic in the capital to demand establishment of a Canadian National Firefighting Agency
AUGUST 21st 2023
Ottawa, Ontario, August 21st, 2023 - unceded Anishinaabe Algonquin territory.
3 On2Ottawa Supporters were arrested this morning during morning rush-hour for nonviolently disrupting the Plaza Bridge.
Supporters of On2Ottawa are demanding that the government pass appropriate legislation to implement a National Fire-Fighting Agency to tackle Canada’s unprecedented wildfires caused by inaction on the climate and ecological crisis.
“I am doing this for my children and my grandchildren, because Canada is burning,” says Francine, who was arrested at today’s roadblock.
On2Ottawa supporters say that they are going to engage in civil disobedience for the next 3 weeks in the capital to force dialogue on creating a much-needed and overdue national fire-fighting agency.
“I have become increasingly distressed over time as people, and the government, have continued to treat the climate crisis as if it is not one. We know that societies can change radically to deal with emergencies, and I am willing to do whatever it nonviolently takes to get there,” says Ivan Ferguson, one of the people arrested at today’s roadblock.
This wave of civil disobedience emerges as Fire Chiefs and politicians urge the Liberal government to address the serious shortage of volunteer firefighters in Canada.
3 ARRESTED AS ON2OTTAWA SUPPORTERS SHUT DOWN PLAZA BRIDGE DURING MORNING RUSH HOUR
AUGUST 8th 2023
(Toronto, Ontario.) - Treaty 13 Territories. A supporter of On2Ottawa, a national civil resistance campaign, has sprayed washable pink paint on and glued herself to the iconic “Toronto '' sign at Nathan Phillips Square.
On2Ottawa demands that Canada must implement a National Fire-fighting Agency that employs 50,000 full-time firefighters. Fires in Canada this season alone have amounted to 25% of total global carbon emissions to date and are the worst on record; four Canadian wildfire fighters have died while in service so far.
“Our governments are engaging in criminal negligence by failing to tackle the climate crisis and these wildfires. This season’s Canadian wildfires are responsible for 25% of the world’s carbon emissions this year,” Says Josh Pringle, a volunteer spokesperson for On2Ottawa.
“This fire season has already taken lives and displaced countless communities. If the Canadian government cannot handle the early symptoms of societal breakdown, it sure won’t be able to handle the societal breakdown that will result from it continuing to worsen. We need a National Firefighting Agency,” says Laura Sullivan, a 24 year old woman engaged in civil resistance.
“We will be in Ottawa from August 19th onwards to respectfully and peacefully demand that government ministers cease to engage in criminal negligence, in violation of the Canadian criminal code, by fulfilling their duties and tackling the dire effects of these wildfires,” continues Laura Sullivan.
On2Ottawa is hosting public meetings at various parks across downtown Toronto for the next two weeks. On2Ottawa plans many more disruptions until demands are met, and has an upcoming action-phase commencing in Ottawa on August 21st, 2023, which will consist of traffic disruptions and marches 3 times a week for three weeks. There will be training in nonviolent civil resistance publicly provided in Ottawa on Saturday, August 19th and Sunday, August 20th, before disruptions commence on Monday, August 21st in the capital.
On2Ottawa Sprays Pink Paint on Toronto Sign Ahead of Protests in Ottawa
april 15th 2023
(Ottawa, Ontario.) - Unceded Lands of the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation. A supporter of On-2-Ottawa climate action group has thrown pink paint on the entrance to Prime Minister Trudeau’s office in Ottawa and chained herself to the doorway to announce their arrival & to raise awareness for the upcoming caravan coming to Ottawa this August.
“We can’t trust our current political system and representatives to save us from this crisis, and we are demanding a citizens’ assembly to do so before it’s too late,” said a volunteer spokesperson for the campaign.
“We are here in Ottawa to demand a citizens’ assembly to address the desperate need for Climate Action Now, not in the 5 to 10 years our government has slated. Overextraction is already showing us its dangerous repercussions. Here and around the world we are seeing fires, floods, droughts & food shortages. The time for dramatic action is now, we still have time to make a difference, but we only have 712 days,” said Ever, the individual chained to the office doors, the same individual who disrupted the Juno Awards in March. The countdown referenced was initiated by Sir David King, who retired as chief scientific advisor to the UK and became a leading voice in the call for immediate action in the climate crisis.
The individual claims to be nonviolent and is prepared to risk arrest for her actions to resist the activities of a government that has objectively failed to take proportionate and time-appropriate action to tackle the climate emergency. Activists associated with the On-2-Ottawa movement have been taking action from Victoria to Montreal since the early months of 2023 to spread awareness for their demands. This action is a continuation of country-wide disruptions to hold the federal government accountable for the urgent action needed to tackle the climate emergency.
On-2-Ottawa organizers are holding rallies at Parliament Hill at 12pm for the next several days and hosting information talks in the evenings this weekend for those interested in joining their cause.
On-2-Ottawa Supporter Defaces Prime Minister’s Office
march 14th 2023
(Edmonton, Alberta.) - Unceded Lands of the Nêhiyaw, Dene, Anishinaabe, Nakota Isga, and Niitsitapi peoples. Supporters of On-2-Ottawa have disrupted the Junos award ceremony, being hosted in Edmonton, Alberta.
1 individual went on to the stage, at the Junos, to disrupt the award ceremony, to raise the profile of the climate caravan going to Ottawa.
“We demand that the government stop robbing us of our right to a future. We will be starting our caravan to Ottawa on the 1st of April and will be engaging in civil disobedience in the capital, as an act of civil resistance, on the 15th of April.” - said a volunteer spokesperson for the campaign.
“We are here at the Junos to invite all of you to join us. We are On-2-Ottawa to demand a citizens assembly to address the desperate need for Climate Action Now. Over extraction is already showing us its dangerous repercussions, here and around the world. The time for action is now. We have 745 days left to make a difference. ” - Said Ever - one of the individuals participating in the civil disobedience action at the Junos. The countdown referenced was initiated by Sir David King, who retired as chief scientific advisor to the UK and became a leading voice in the call for immediate action in the climate crisis.
The individual disrupting the Junos claims to be nonviolent and are prepared to risk arrest for their actions to resist the activities of a government that has objectively failed to take proportionate and appropriate action to tackle the climate emergency.
On-2-Ottawa Supporter Disrupts the Junos
march 1st 2023
Unceded Lands of the Lekwungen people (Victoria, B.C.) - 24 year old Climate Activist with the new campaign “On2Ottawa”, Laura Sullivan, has thrown pink paint on the Royal BC Museum’s centerpiece: “Woolly Mammoth”, to issue an ultimatum to the Prime Minister and Federal Ministers for “criminal inaction” on the Climate and Ecological Emergency.
“I will be going to Ottawa as part of a caravan to demand immediate action to tackle the climate and ecological emergency, and would encourage everyone to join, especially youth”, said Laura Sullivan, a former UBC engineering student.
The activists used washable pink paint to throw at the structure.
“There is no future for me, and my generation, in a world where we’re facing unprecedented crop failure in the next 10-15 years because of rising temperatures”, added Laura.
The caravan is expected to leave Vancouver on April 1, 2023. The caravan is expected to stop in each major city on its way to Ottawa.
This action is a continuation of worldwide disruptions of iconic paintings and symbols to wake people and governments up to the urgent actions needed to tackle the climate emergency.