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First Nations Chief calls on end of rail protests, has office surrounded

Mohawk Council of Kanesatake Grand Chief Serge Otsi Simon called on anti-pipeline protesters to end the rail blockades as a “show of good faith.”
Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal, QC

Mohawk Council of Kanesatake Grand Chief Serge Otsi Simon called on anti-pipeline protestors to end the rail blockades as a “show of good faith.”

“Bringing down the blockades doesn’t mean that you surrender. It doesn’t mean we’re going to lay down and let them kick us around. No, it would show compassion,” he said.

“I’m simply pleading with the protesters … Have you made your point yet? Has the government and industry understood? I think they did.”

Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer gave a similar message earlier Tuesday at the House of Commons, when he called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s response to the protestors “the weakest response to a national crisis in Canadian history.”

Scheer highlighted that the majority of members of the Wet’suwet’en people were in support of the coastal gas link project. “Every single elected band council on the gas link route supports this project. The majority of hereditary chiefs support this project.”

“The prime minister’s elevation of these protestors to the same level of the thousands of men and women in First Nation communities who have in good faith been trying to right the wrongs of Canadian history, does a disservice to the spirit of reconciliation. And the prime minister has emboldened and encouraged them.”

In response to Chief Simon’s comments, Mohawks in Kanehsatake barricaded the council office Tuesday morning.

“People are suffering across the country because of this blockade–and not just non-Indigenous people. Indigenous people as well. Shortages in propane and probably food supplies are going to start getting critical if this continues,” Chief Simon said of the blockades.

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Roberto Wakerell-Cruz
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