VIA trains cancelled for fourth day in a row due to protesters
VIA Rail has cancelled a number of trains on major routes for a fourth day in a row amid tensions with a group of protestors who are blocking train tracks near Belleville, Ontario.
The demonstrators, who arrived at the tracks near the Marysville stop late last week, are acting in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en First Nation as the RCMP invades their land in northern B.C. for the sake of the controversial forthcoming Coastal GasLink pipeline.
The Toronto-Ottawa and Toronto-Montreal train routes have been affected, with services of dozens of trains a day stalled in both directions.
FEBRUARY 9: Due to the protesters currently blocking tracks near Belleville, Ontario, train service between Montreal and Toronto and between Ottawa and Toronto is canceled in both directions. https://t.co/HAPXhFBRbH for all updates— VIA_Rail (@VIA_Rail) February 9, 2020
VIA has issued a special notice on its website alerting travelers that "none of the trains on these two routes will operate until the issue is resolved." Freight trains have also been impacted.
The activists, from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, join thousands of others who are peacefully rallying at train tracks, ports, streets, legislature and more across B.C. and the entire country in opposition to the recent police invasion and arrests that have taken place on Wet’suwet’en land.
Today on @NEWS1130: A protest against LNG pipeline construction on Wet'suwet'en territory is causing traffic delays through East Vancouver. Meantime, VIA rail service has been suspended completely between Ottawa and Montreal for the second day in row because of similar protests. pic.twitter.com/Q8FFswLbwV— John Ackermann (@jackermann) February 8, 2020
Pressure has been rising as RCMP officers attempt to enforce a court injunction to permit construction of the 670 km pipeline to move forward.
Though Coastal GasLink has signed agreements with 20 First Nations band councils who support the natural gas pipeline, many —including Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs — are still contending the project.
The pipeline is due to pass through land recognized as unceded territory by the Supreme Court of Canada.
If you have a platform it's time to use it to speak. The RCMP, federal + provincial gov are taking indigenous land at gunpoint for resource extraction. There are raids on Unist'ot'en happening today. I support the via rail block + protests https://t.co/K5cOvY0gFv #wetsuweten pic.twitter.com/xIbeW5ijxZ— lee cyborg 🛰️ (@Leeborg_) February 10, 2020
CN Rail obtained an injunction of its own this weekend to end the Belleville rail blockade, but it was burned by demonstrators, according to the Unist'ot'en Solidarity Brigade.
The OPP is monitoring the situation, but the land protectors say they refuse to leave the site until the RCMP withdraws from Wet’suwet’en territory.
VIA is reimbursing passengers whose travel plans have been disrupted by the ordeal.
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