Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

January 16, 2013

Rail Blockades underway across Canada Jan. 16, 2013

Gitwangax- Kitwanga, B.C., rail blockade. Photo by Lizzy Williams
Gitwangax- Kitwanga, B.C., rail blockade. Photo by Lizzy Williams
Centennial Bridge march in Miramichi, NB. Photo by @lilypad3516 aka Rachel Daigle
CP Rail police walk away from Tyendinaga Mohawks blockading Ontario rails.
Rail Blockade protester said he is laying on the tracks for his grandchildren.


Hundreds attended an Idle No More protest that took place near the Nipigon River Bridge today, Jan. 16.

APTN Rail Blockade shuts down tracks in Manitoba.

Gitwangak Warriors CN Rail Blockade Today, Jan. 16, 2013


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APTN National News
A Manitoba rail blockade has shut down regional rail traffic, according to a spokesman for CN.
An APTN National News crew, including reporter Karen Gott, is following former Roseau River chief Terry Nelson who is spearheading the rail blockade in Manitoba. The chosen location sits about 90 km west of Winnipeg at the junction of Hwy. 1 and the Yellowhead Hwy. which is the major branch route to Western Canada. The RCMP is on the scene.
“Yes, I have just been advised that we now have a blockade in Manitoba,” said CN spokesman Jim Feeny. “(It is) stopping train traffic in that region.”
The rail blockade was expected to also target a CP rail line. CP could not be reached for comment.
The Tyendinaga Mohawks also they plan to shut down the CP and CN rail lines in Ontario as part of cross-country, National Day of Action events planned from British Columbia to Nunavut, Alberta to Nova Scotia. Mohawks from Tyendinaga have told APTN National News reporter Kenneth Jackson that they plan to shut down the rail lines at about 1 p.m. local time. The location for the blockade is unknown.
Another rail blockade is also expected to hit in British Columbia, APTN National News reporter Shirley McLean. The Gtixsan of Gitwangak said they would block the CN rail between 10 a.m. local time and 6 p.m.
Rallies, round dances and blockades were expected from coast-to-coast-to-coast Wednesday.
Rally outside the British Consulate in Toronto.
In Windsor, Ont., about 1,000 people marched to the Ambassador Bridge which links the city to Detroit, Mich., said filmmaker Monica Virtue. Virtue said drummers were pounding away and a helicopter hovered over head as the march stopped briefly on their route, with the bridge looming in the distance.
“We are getting ready to walk over the bridge,” said Virtue, in a phone interview.
In Ontario, London District Chiefs Council Chair Greg Peters said earlier in the day that the planned rally at the Ambassador BridgeƂ  would be the biggest First Nations event the area has ever seen. Plans are to rally for about an hour, temporarily stopping cross-border traffic.
"This will be the biggest First Nation event that Windsor has ever seen,” said Peters, who spoke to APTN while standing in a parking lot packed with 12 buses of supporters. “We want to send a message that depending on the numbers, should we decide to shut down the border at a future date that is possible, that it could be done.
A portion of Hwy 401 was shut down by police for the convoy to the bridge.
In Miramichi, NB, marchers took over the Centennial Bridge as part of nation-wide events.
Six Nations holds rally Wednesday morning at Cayuga courthouse 
In Cayuga, Ont., near Hamilton, about 60 people from Six Nations rallied and round danced at the local court house Wednesday morning.
“The idle No More movement is connecting to the everyday injustices faced by Native people when they are dragged through the courts at the hands of the (Ontario Provincial Police) when they are standing up for their rights,” said organizer Laura Lepper.
Lepper said the rally was partly in support of Theresa Toad Jaimeson who is facing charges from a Feb. 18, 2012, incident after a “anti-Native rights” activist walked into an area of land in Caledonia, Ont., that Six Nations reclaimed in 2006.
A spokesman for the OPP said the provincial police force would be focusing on preserving public safety throughout the day.
“I know there are various activities planned for various locations,” said OPP Sgt. Peter Leon. “We are prepared to deal with them as they do present themselves.”
Barrie, Ont., police warned drivers Wednesday morning to expect delays as a result of rallies.
Members of Alderville First Nation in Ontario are slowing traffic along Hwy. 45 which cuts through their territory. They are handing out pamphlets, coffee and juice..
Possible blockades are also expected in Ontario and Manitoba. Former Roseau River chief Terry Nelson told APTN National News there are plans to shut down the CP and CN rail lines in Manitoba.
In British Columbia, the Pat Bay Hwy in Vancouver Island is also expected to be blocked temporarily.
A highway blockade is also planned near Cardston, Alta., and in the Lubicon Lake nation in the same province plans traffic slowdowns throughout the oil fields in their territory.
“We’re not out blocking the roads and shutting things down, we’re not at that point.” said Lubicon Coun. Bryan Laboucan, in a statement. “All we’re doing here today is taking a few minutes to talk to people visiting our territory whether for work or just passing through and educate them on our situation.”
In Whitehorse a 24-hour prayer circle is expected to begin at about 6 p.m. local time. In Toronto, an Idle No More rally is planned for the British consulate at noon local time.
A march is planned in Kanesatake that will begin at the Pines near the cemetery that was once at the centre of the Oka crisis in 1990.
Idle No More march across the Westmorland Bridge in Fredericton, NB.
The Algonquins Barriere Lake, Que., plan to slow down traffic on Hwy 117 to draw attention to their opposition of forestry projects on their land.

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