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Tyendinaga protesters remain on tracks, police action expected in morning: sources

Tyendinaga blockade remains in place after midnight deadline from police
A rail blockade on Tyendinaga Mohawk territory had not been dismantled as of midnight on Monday, Feb. 24, despite a deadline being given by Ontario Provincial Police and CN to the demonstrators.

The Ontario Provincial Police has warned protesters at the railway blockade setup on traditional Tyendinaga Mohawk territory that they had until just before midnight ET to leave the tracks, sources in the Mohawk community tell Global News.

READ MORE: Wet’suwet’en solidarity protesters set up new Vancouver rail blockade, violating injunction

Sources say that police have told the Mohawk community they have until 11:59 p.m. Sunday night to get off the tracks, that those at the blockade are concerned about violence and that enforcement action isn’t expected until Monday morning.

Police tell protesters at Tyendinaga to clear blockade by midnight deadline
Police tell protesters at Tyendinaga to clear blockade by midnight deadline

There is currently no plan for those at the blockade to leave, the sources added, saying that they are preparing for police to move in.

But other sources said there are discussions in the community about what should be done.

One source said some who have been at the barricades are seriously considering a CN/OPP offer to take down the barricades and avoid charges. The source noted people are weary after weeks on the tracks.

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Protesters in support of Wet’suwe’ten hereditary chiefs vow to maintain blockades ‘as long as it takes’
Protesters in support of Wet’suwe’ten hereditary chiefs vow to maintain blockades ‘as long as it takes’

The Wet’suwet’en solidarity blockades have shut down railroads and transport lines across the country for more than two weeks.

Blockades similar to the one on Tyendinaga Mohawk territory in Eastern Ontario have appeared across Canada — in British Columbia, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

READ MORE: Wet’suwet’en protests: Violent ends to past confrontations haunt Trudeau’s government

The latest development comes two days after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it is time for injunctions against the blockades to be enforced.

“Every attempt at dialogue has been made but discussions have not been productive. We cannot have dialogue when only one party is coming to the table,” he said on Friday.

“The fact remains: the barricades must now come down. The injunctions must be obeyed and the law must be upheld.”

Protesters face arrests if Tyendinaga blockades not dismantled by midnight deadline
Protesters face arrests if Tyendinaga blockades not dismantled by midnight deadline

Trudeau also had phone calls with the premiers of Ontario, Quebec, and B.C. on Sunday regarding the blockades.

A call readout by the prime minister’s office says that Trudeau “informed the premiers of measures being taken to ensure that critical needs are addressed across Canada, including propane, chemicals to treat drinking water, and essential agricultural products.”

“We will remain in close contact with all provinces to address urgent needs as required, and we will continue to support coordinated efforts to find a resolution,” the call readout said, adding that Trudeau and the premiers have “reiterated their commitment to resolving the situation peacefully.”

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— With files by Global News staff

Divisions within the Indigenous community on natural resource development
Divisions within the Indigenous community on natural resource development