Tuesday, March 5, 2024

The end of the railway blockade in Saint-Lambert

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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A few dozen protesters who closed the Canadian National Railways in St Lambert on Saturday left the venue this afternoon. They were on hand to support the indigenous nation of Wet’suwet’en in their battle against the Coastal GasLink pipeline in British Columbia.

“We will shut down the transportation infrastructure essential to the Canadian economy for as long as the RCMP is in the Witswezten region and construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline continues,” said Marianne Cote, an activist with the group.

Thierry Laforce / QMI

Ms. Côté said, calling for environmental movements and advocating for the rights of regions to work.

Protesters rallied around the “Close as Kannada” slogan in the early hours of Saturday morning. Even logs were brought in to light the campfires as the militants were preparing to stay there for a long time.

Thierry Laforce / QMI

The Longwell Cluster Police Department, who was on the scene to oversee the demonstration, intervened in the afternoon to disperse the protesters, who eventually left on their own.

Exo commuter train service, which operates the Montreal-Mont-Saint-Hilaire line on this line, has not been disrupted as it is not available on weekends.

Thierry Laforce / QMI

This new coup, which comes after a few weeks of tension in the Witsuyen region, is reminiscent of the wave of disruptions that crippled Canada’s rail network in the winter of 2020, just before the pandemic began.

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At the time, railroad disruptions hampered the transportation of goods, particularly due to an important rail link in Ontario that closed the CN Route to Quebec and the Maritimes. These drawbacks came just after the railroad workers’ strike, which caused shortages in the county, especially propane.

Recently, several protests erupted in the territory of the State of Witsuyen, turning into a clash with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) who made several arrests over time.

In particular, 15 people, including two journalists, were arrested in one fell swoop on November 20.

Thierry Laforce / QMI

Activists opposed to building the pipeline are seeking to cut off workers’ access and material flow, despite orders to stop.

The Coastal GasLink pipeline, which is approximately 670 kilometers in length, will transport natural gas from Alberta to the coast of British Columbia for export. However, the infrastructure crosses traditional indigenous lands, with a portion of the population opposing the project.

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