Calmer start to Tuesday after dramatic day of police action at Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory near Belleville

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Calmer start to Tuesday after dramatic day of police action at Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory near Belleville


Calm seemed to prevail at the protester encampment near the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory on Tuesday morning.

Police have now closed access to Wyman Road, stopping even media from getting close to rail tracks once occupied by protesters.

A concrete barricade has been a erected about 400 metres away from the tracks, where Wyman Rd intersects with Old Highway 2, a day after police moved in on Mohawk protesters, arresting several people, and breaking up a several weeks of protesters setting up right next to the rail.

Three OPP officers stood guard near the barricade Tuesday, informing the media that the road was closed and they would be unable to get any closer. Police still maintained a strong presence on Wyman overnight, with only a few cruisers spotted near the second Mohawk encampment, about four km east of Wyman, at the Highway 49 rail overpass.

Things were also quieter on the south side of the tracks, where protesters had held camp for several weeks. No one was manning the makeshift gate, guarded Monday by a man who denied media from entering the Mohawk encampment. A pile of wood sat near the gate made of wooden skids, while several Mohawk flags mounted on the gate blew in the early morning wind.

A few cars sit idling, while two men sat next to a fire. Two women sorted food items — cupcakes, donuts, muffin and Tim Hortons coffee containers — sitting on two tables inside the Mohawk encampment.

One told the Star that they had stayed all night and more people would start showing up as the morning progressed. Only a handful of protesters were mulling around, some standing outside, while a few kept warm inside vehicles.

Monday was a dramatic day of police action against the Tyendinaga Mohawk blockade and the country appears no closer to resolving a political crisis that has halted rail transport across the nation and shaken the Liberal government’s efforts towards Indigenous reconciliation.

Outside Marysville, Ont., 10 Mohawk activists were arrested after Ontario Provincial Police decided to enforce a court injunction against the protest camp that had blocked transport along one of Canada’s key rail lines since Feb. 6, prompting Canadian National and Via Rail to temporarily lay off 1,500 workers.

The arrests were a flashpoint in the ongoing nationwide dispute. They provoked cries of disgust from protesters and fresh demonstrations of solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who say the Coastal GasLink project cannot proceed through their territory without their consent.

Even as the first train was prepped to roll through the cleared-out blockade site in Ontario, another blockade was set up on the tracks outside New Hazelton, B.C., and demonstrators blocked a road leading to the port of Vancouver.

There will be no service during the morning rush hour along the Go Transit’s Lakeshore West line between Aldershot and Hamilton stations in Ontario after protestors blocked train tracks in support of the Wet’suwet’en nation Monday night.

A group on Facebook called Wet’suwet’en Strong: Hamilton in Solidarity says they are blocking trains in response to the OPP’s dismantling the rail blockade in Tyendinaga, close to Belleville in eastern Ontario.

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With files from Star staff





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