Kahnawake protesters take to streets as rail blockade continues

Protesters in Kahnawake have taken to driving slowly and intermittely blocking traffic on Highway 132 on Monday morning as the rail blockade in the area stretches into its third week.

Trains on a commuter rail line between Montreal and the south shore also remain at a halt as the protest in support with the hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation in British Columbia continues.

Exo, the regional train authority, said that the service interruption is until “further notice” on the Candiac line and that shuttle buses are available for commuters.

The Kahnawake Peacekeepers, the local police service, is closely monitoring the barricade as more people join the protest.

Protesters in Kahnawake have told Global News they intend to stay until the situation is resolved and they planned to stay as long as it takes in order to protect the land and future generations.

The Mont-Saint-Hilaire train line, however, is resuming service early Monday morning after demonstrators dismantled their blockade in Saint-Lambert, south of Montreal, late last week.

The barricade came down after the group was served with an injunction from Canadian National Railway and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for an end to blockades across Canada amid stalled attempts at negotiation.

The nationwide protests began in early February as the hereditary chiefs protest the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline through their territory. However, elected band councils for that and 20 other First Nation communities along the route support the project.

Tensions quickly escalated after the RCMP enforced a court injunction to give workers unobstructed access to a worksite for the pipeline and arrested activists blocking the area.

The dispute has sparked protests in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and other locations in B.C. for weeks.

The blockades have forced train stoppages for Via Rail, CN Rail and commuter trains in Montreal. While some across Canada remain obstructed, service has resumed on others.

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