Canadian police clear indigenous protest, tensions remain
Canadian police clear indigenous protest, tensions remain
By Canadian Press
The latest on protests across Canada in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs Mar 02 2020
26 February, 2020, 16:53
"We needed them to communicate that that was to their satisfaction to their supporters from coast to coast to coast", Bennett said.
Officers moved in shortly after to extinguish the fires and clear the remaining debris from the tracks.
Officers removed protesters into the overnight hours until the area was cleared. But Ontario police, who have a history of violent clashes with the province's Indigenous peoples, waited a few days before moving into action Monday. "The rule of law includes human rights and Indigenous rights".
Hereditary chiefs from Wet'suwet'en First Nation are expected to return to British Columbia today after visiting Mohawk communities in eastern Canada, with no signs that blockades crippling the country's rail network will come down.
The company that operates GO Transit warns a detour to get around demonstrations affecting a rail line to Milton, Ont., could add 30 to 45 minutes to travel times.
Ontario Provincial Police said it had tried to negotiate peacefully with the protesters.
Ten people were arrested as the blockade was cleared, Monday morning, angering some Indigenous leaders, community members and advocacy groups who had hoped for a peaceful resolution.
"It's still a dynamic situation", said OPP spokesman Bill Dickson. The two train tracks are owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway and the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad (Quebec).
Canadian National (CN) "is pleased that the illegal blockade in Tyendinaga has come to an end".
Several dozen protesters slept overnight on the steps of the B.C. legislature as their demonstration of support for Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs opposed to construction of a pipeline in northern B.C. continued. "We can not have dialogue when only one party is coming to the table", he said on Friday. Until that happens, and until Coastal GasLink commits to removing its workers from the land, Na'moks said the chiefs will not hold talks with the federal government.
The chief, who also goes by John Ridsdale, offered words of encouragement for the Ontario protesters. That's all I can say.
Members of a group called Wet'suwet'en Solidarity said they were occupying the tracks in response to the OPP's removal of protestors on the CN Rail line at Tyendinaga. But the blockade of a critical east-west rail line on Tyendinaga territory remains in place - and more protests are planned for March 20 along the borders of Manitoba.
Mohawks responded to the arrests by blocking the railway in Kahnawake and the road in nearby Kanesatake, as well as slowing down traffic on two highways heading into Montreal, Quebec.
But Trudeau said the inconvenience to Canadians has gone on long enough, given that the blockades have halted rail lines for weeks.
In the meantime, Hamilton police continue to investigate "the rail service disruption".
February 11 - CN stops transport between Prince George, B.C., and Prince Rupert, B.C., because of a blockade near Hazelton, B.C. The company says it has halted more than 150 freight trains since blockades started on February 6. "Resolution requires action now", Creel wrote.
Trudeau and the premiers also reiterated their commitment to resolving the situation peacefully.
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