Protesters have setup a rail blockade in Toronto’s west end in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en, which forced a two-hour suspension on part of the Milton GO Transit train line.
On the Toronto Wet’suwet’en Solidarity Facebook page, protest organizers said at around 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday the rail tracks behind Lambton Arena — near Scarlett Road and Dundas Street West — were being blocked in support of the hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation, who oppose the construction of a massive natural gas pipeline on their territory in B.C. and protesters in Tyendinaga.
Metrolinx, the parent company of GO Transit, said a service suspension was in effect on the Milton line.
However, the transit agency announced after 6 p.m. that a detour was put in place. Trains were being diverted to use part of the Lakeshore West train line, adding about 30 minutes to each Milton-bound train trip.
GO Transit announced it was expected Milton GO train service would be able to provide scheduled trips on Wednesday, but added it would take an extra 30 to 40 minutes if similar detours needed to be taken.
Toronto police could be seen at the rail site and some protesters could be seen being escorted off the tracks as several others remained. Demonstrators could be seen carrying signs and banners.
There were reports of protesters on the tracks near Guildwood GO station on the Lakeshore East line. However, GO Transit said the disruption cleared and trains were resuming.
The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say the pipeline cannot proceed without their consent, despite the fact Coastal GasLink has received support from a number of other elected band councils along the 670-kilometre pipeline.
The Facebook post also said the blockade was being held in support of the Tyendinaga community. After a nearly three-week-long blockade, Ontario Provincial Police enforced a court injunction on Monday and arrested 10 people.
Solidarity blockades and protests have since developed in different parts of Canada, including in Hamilton and Caledonia.
The Hamilton blockade ended Tuesday afternoon, almost 24 hours after it began. That demonstration resulted in train cancellations at Hamilton, West Harbour, St. Catharines and Niagara Falls GO stations.