Railway Blockades Ignite Fires

After the RCMP’s momentary closure of part of wet’suwet’en territory in B.C., the hereditary chiefs are now willing to meet with the federal government on Thursday. As a condition, the tribe wants Coastal GasLink to stop all construction of the pipeline within their lands, before the meeting takes place.

Blockades and transport disruption persisted on Wednesday. The situation highly escalated when fires were initiated on the railway tracks in Ontario, meant to signify solidarity to the Wet’suwet’en chiefs.

A second fire was set off at a protest in Tyendinaga Mohawk territory, although temporary, it prevented trains from passing through.

As emotions intensify so do protestors’ actions. According to police spokesperson Bill Dickson, demonstrators have gone as far as throwing tires onto tracks and liting them on fire. Additionally others in Belleville, Ont. have lit fires next to the railway tracks immediately after a train passed through.

Police and Firefighter were said to have immediately extinguished the fires, and the tracks were examined by the Canadian National Railway Co. Nevertheless, protestors started up smaller fires once train traffic was cleared to run again.

A video revealed demonstrators standing on the tracks as a train was running through and later throwing rocks at the windows. Although OPP officers were present for this altercation, it was revealed they did not have plans to remove the protestors, as of now.

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair communicated that the RCMP and the Wet’suwet’ en hereditary chiefs were in discussions and hoped for a resolution to the ongoing issue.