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Protest re-emerges on critical Ontario rail line after being dismantled by police

A protest started in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory while CN Rail was attempting to continue their service on a critical route to eastern Canada.
Sam Edwards High Level, Alberta

On Wednesday morning a protest started in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory while CN Rail was attempting to continue their service on one of the critical routes heading towards Eastern Canada, according to The Globe and Mail.

A train was stopped for a brief period of time close to Belleville, Ontario, when protestors started throwing snowballs towards the train cars. They also tried to start a fire on the track where tires had previously been burnt by protestors.

Bill Dickenson, an Ontario Provincial Police spokesman said, “It’s a little bit of a tense situation right now in terms of how CN goes in to check out the tracks. The big issue is CN’s trying to roll the trains but having tires burning on the tracks is definitely an issue.”

Three trains were able to pass as 20 police officers were situated at the tracks with more overlooking the situation from an overpass. Around 20 Mohawk protestors are still at the tracks on the south side, while police remain on the north side.

These were some of the first freight trains to pass through the area since a Tyendinaga Mohawk blockade was removed by police on Monday. Ten protestors were charged during the incident.

The arrests seemingly sparked more protests across the country, including some in the GTA.

The Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory blockades have done most of the damage to the economy by cutting off CN and Via Rail’s service in eastern Canada.

The Tyendinaga protest started on Feb. 6 to show support for the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who are against the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern BC.

CN had to temporarily stop their service to eastern Canada on Feb. 14, forcing the company to lay off approximately 450 employees.

Via Rail was forced to lay off close to 1,000 people as they use some of the same tracks as CN. The company’s trains are still suspended east of Toronto.

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