via rail protest

Protest in solidarity with Wet'suwet'en shuts down major Toronto intersection

People in Toronto are now joining thousands across the country who are protesting the RCMP's recent arrests of anti-pipeline activists on unceded land in northern B.C.

Armed officers have dismantled camps and taken dozens of demonstrators into custody on We'tsuwet'en territory, where community members blocked access to work sites for the controversial 670 km-long Coastal GasLink pipineline that is due to cut through the area. 

Rallies have been taking place everywhere from Victoria to Halifax over the past few days, and have included blockades of major transportation routes likes roads, rail lines and ports as a tactic of peaceful protest against the RCMP's invasion of sovereign indigenous land.

The police action was to enforce a Supreme Court injunction mandating that construction of the natural gas line be permitted to continue.

Activists in Toronto today paid a visit to the Toronto office of Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister and Toronto-St. Paul's MP Carolyn Bennett before taking over the intersection of Yonge and Eglinton with signs reading "no trespassing on Wet'suwet'en land," "Canada off Unistoten" and "Indigenous sovereignity is climate justice."

Attendees included members of Friends of Chinatown Toronto, which issued a statement of solidarity on social media saying "it is vital that we add our voices to the chorus of others condemning the colonial violence happening right now on Wet’suwet’en territory."

Police were quick to arrive on the scene, but traffic at the corner — already a messy area thanks to the ongoing Eglinton Crosstown LRT construction — was halted in all directions for a number of hours as activists marched and chanted.

Similar demonstrations have been taking place on the streets of downtown Vancouver, Victoria and Calgary, as well as at train tracks near Belleville, Halifax, and Hazleton, B.C., shutting down service for both freight and commuter trains. 

Government buildings like the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, the Ministry of Justice in Ottawa and Vancouver City Hall have also been occupied by demonstrators, disrupting parades, throne speech ceremonies and more with the purpose of drawing attention to the cause and forcing the RCMP off Wet'suwet'en territory.

The Toronto demonstration — just one of multiple — has been cleared as of 4 p.m. and traffic has resumed in the area, according to Newstalk 1010.

Lead photo by

Harrison Lowman


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