Protesters opposing B.C. pipeline block rail line in Toronto
Protesters opposing the building of a pipeline in British Columbia blocked a rail line in Toronto on Saturday, causing freight and passenger train delays.
The protesters, demonstrating near Bartlett Avenue and Dupont Street, said they were in support of Wet’suwet’en Nation, many of whose members who oppose the building of a natural gas line in B.C.
“This is a protest against anybody that would invade Indigenous lands on unceded territories,” protester Maya Menezes said.
“We’re here in solidarity with all the calls to action that the Wet’suwet’en have put out across the country for people to stand in solidarity with Indigenous self-determination.”
Tensions have been rising in B.C. between the Wet’suwet’en Nation and police since officers began to enforce an expanded injunction that was granted to Coastal GasLink by the B.C. Supreme Court.
Opponents have tried to block construction of the project while police have worked to enforce the injunction since early Thursday, leading to some arrests.
Wet’suwet’en Nation is an unceded territory not covered by treaty.
Saturday’s protest in Toronto began during the morning hours and occurred alongside another protest being held in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en near Belleville, Ont. that has caused the suspension of Via Rail service on a key southern Ontario route two days in a row.
In Toronto, a Canadian Pacific (CP) train was stalled a short distance away from protesters when they began blocking the tracks around 11:30 a.m.
In an email to Global News Saturday afternoon, a CP spokesperson said they were monitoring the situation.
Shortly before 6 p.m., Toronto police said protesters were leaving the tracks.
GO Transit also said service on their Barrie line between Union and Downsview was impacted as a result of the protest, although only temporarily.
– With files from Rachel D’Amore, Sean Boynton, and Maham Abedi
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