Mohawk protesters end Via Rail blockade

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:49 PM ET

MARYSVILLE, Ont. — Native protesters once again blockaded one of Canada's busiest rail corridors Wednesday, stalling traffic between Toronto and all points east.

Buses were brought in to move travellers, while trains remained parked in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

More than 4,000 passengers were affected.

The protesters left the scene by late afternoon and police reopened the tracks.

At the Ottawa train station, close to 100 passengers lined up towards the main doors, luggage in tow, to board buses Wednesday afternoon.

Tom Kerr and his wife were heading to Toronto for a three-day trip.

"Well I assume we'll get there, but I wasn't planning to go by bus," said Kerr. "If I wanted to go by bus, I would have."

"I'm not going to blame anybody," he said. "We're going any ways. It's just not very convenient."

About a dozen people set up camp by the tracks near the Tyendinaga Mohawk reserve near Belleville, Ont.

The activists lit a small fire Wednesday morning and erected a sign reading: "Justice for murdered and missing indigenous women."

 

Police also shut down Hwy. 2 near the area for the day.

Local militant native activist Shawn Brant was arrested and charged for leading a blockade of the same area earlier in the month.

Protesters at the site Wednesday said theirs had nothing to do with Brant's arrest, but to bring further attention to missing women, demanding the federal government open a formal inquiry.

“We are here because our sisters, our moms, our cousins and our friends are being stolen from us at alarming rates and there is no closure given to those families,” said one of the leaders, a woman who went by the name Karahkwinetha. “This is continuing and we are not seeing an end to it at this time."

She was surrounded by local women and a group of female students enrolled in First Nations studies at Ryerson University in Toronto.

- with files from Jerome Lessard and Sophie Desrosiers

 

- With files from Jerome Lessard and Sophie Desrosiers

 

 


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