Canadian Police Clear Indigenous Rail Blockade, Make Arrests
It has been reported that Canada’s forest sector — which includes lumber and pulp and paper — after the first two weeks of the blockades, had seen a loss of $100 million.
Feb 26, 2020 (Reuters) - Police on [Feb. 24] made multiple arrests and cleared a rail blockade by an indigenous group in eastern Canada that had been stopping freight and passenger traffic for 19 days on one of the country's busiest lines.
Police secured the area near Belleville, Ontario, Canadian National Railway Co. (CN) said, and its technicians were inspecting the tracks and signals.
"CN is pleased that the illegal blockade in Tyendinaga has come to an end," the company said in a statement without saying when rail service would resume.
Tyendinaga Mohawk campaigners barricaded the line in solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en from British Columbia, who are seeking to stop construction of a gas pipeline over their land.
Dozens of Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) descended on the site of the blockade a little after 8 a.m. ET and made several arrests, though they have not yet said how many.
"Unfortunately, all avenues to successfully negotiate a peaceful resolution have been exhausted and a valid court injunction remains in effect," the OPP said in a statement.
CN obtained an injunction on Feb. 7 against those preventing rail traffic from running along its trunk line near Belleville, but provincial police had been slow to act.
In Ottawa, hundreds of protesters met in front of parliament and marched through downtown in support of the Wet'suwet'en.
"We worked extremely hard to obtain a peaceful solution to this situation, but we couldn't allow these barricades to continue," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in parliament.