Trains stopped locally due to demonstration in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en

The flag of those demonstrating waves in the wind at the railway crossing being closed off intermittently by demonstrators in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en. Photo by Cris Vilela.

Trains along the Belleville-Kingston corridor came to a standstill as a demonstration is being staged on the CN Rail in the late afternoon of Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020.

Via Rail confirmed that trains stopped moving in both Kingston and Belleville due to the demonstration, and posts on social media state the protest is in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en as the RCMP has moved in on the anti-pipeline camp at Wet’suwet’en territory in B.C. and arrests have been made. The demonstration is taking place on the train tracks at Wyman Road, which is near Shannonville between Kingston and Belleville.

Demonstrators at the rail crossing at Whyman Road near Shannonville. Photo by Cris Vilela.

While the OPP could not confirm that trains have been stopped as the situation is unfolding, officers with the Lennox and Addington Detachment of the OPP said they are currently looking into the situation and will provide updates shortly.

Via rail has responded to travellers on the train question why their trains have stopped indicating it is due to the deomonstration.

“Trains stopped at Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en,” Kanenhariyo Seth LeFort said on Facebook, along with the hastag #rcmpgetout and the photo below.

Photo via Kanenhariyo Seth LeFort on Facebook.

Demonstrators on the scene at Wyman Road indicated they will be letting one or two trains through every now and then as the protest continues, however, after making that agreement with the rail authorities, it was clear that CN and Via Rail had made a concerted effort to place trains back to back, as four trains moved through the demonstration, firing up the angers of those in attendance.

Those with Via Rail indicated they believed the trains would all be moving again within an hour and a half, however, it is unknown when the protest will end.

“The call was put out this morning saying ‘Rise!’ because of the things that are continuing to go on in Wet’suwet’en,” said a protestor at the train tracks who requested to remain anonymous.

“We can’t sit by and watch what they’re doing and do nothing. It’s genocide. The Canadian people need to be ashamed and not allow it. This country was born in genocide,” he said.

At 4:05 p.m., Via Rail responded to Kingstonist’s requests for information with the following:

“Since 2:30 p.m. protests had been blocking tracks at Marysville, impacting six VIA Rail trains,” said Karl-Philip Marchand Giguere, media advisor for VIA Rail. “Tracks are now clear of protesters and have been inspected and trains are now back on the move.”

“CN crews and CN police responded to information regarding a protest near CN tracks between Shannonville and Desoronto. Train movements were temporarily stopped as a precautionary measure but have since resumed,” agreed Alexandre Boulé, Senior Advisor with Media Relations and Public Affairs for CN.

However, those on the ground, angered by the number of trains that had been pushed through the demonstration, indicated their actions were far from over.

Kingstonist will continue to monitor this situation and update this article as more information becomes available.

A train passes through the demonstration scene at the Wyman Road rail crossing on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. Photo by Cris Vilela.
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17 thoughts on “Trains stopped locally due to demonstration in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en

  • February 6, 2020 at 6:18 pm
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    Hi, I’m on the Montreal bound train at 18:17 and we are stopped at Cobourg indefinitely…

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  • February 6, 2020 at 6:26 pm
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    So what happens now? It’s 6:24 pm and We are stock in a train in union station that was supposed to leave at 5:40!

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  • February 6, 2020 at 7:12 pm
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    I’m stuck at union station now sittin on the train for an hour and a half and they’re saying it’s still blocked off. I only need tk go to belleville. I dont understand why they cant continue as far as possible and get a shuttle for passengers that need to get past the blockade

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  • February 6, 2020 at 8:04 pm
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    I’m on the train. They have stopped it again.

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  • February 6, 2020 at 8:04 pm
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    Well, this is definitely not over. Via train #66 is stuck in Belleville for the last 3 hours without any ETA. And there is a bunch of other trains on the platform.

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  • February 6, 2020 at 9:29 pm
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    The trains are not halted temporarily. We have been delayed for 3 hours and it is now 9:30pm and we left Toronto at 5pm. What is going on?

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  • February 6, 2020 at 11:13 pm
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    This is nothing but terrorism, affecting law abiding Canadian citizens. This situation needs decisive action by law enforcement and, like in BC, these protesters need to be arrested and detained!

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  • February 7, 2020 at 1:06 am
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    I agree on the right to peaceful protest but don’t protest near the tracks, it’s public mischief plus it’s dangerous. I’m glad the trains are back on the move and hopefully no more hooligans disrupt the good people who are commuting where they need to go.

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    • February 7, 2020 at 1:16 am
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      Further, you must protest either outside of a Legislature or the House of Commons or offices only/ These protesters are only making jack-asses of themselves.

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    • February 7, 2020 at 2:26 pm
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      It’s certainly not ideal that people feel the need to protest in such a way in order to be heard. It speaks volumes about the complacency of the Canadian government and larger society that it is taking demonstrations like this for this issue to be noticed. Another commenter said that they should have protested outside of a Legislature or the House of Commons – they already did and clearly that did not change anything. It sucks to have your commute interrupted. But I would argue that it sucks even more though to have people trying to take over your land, in this case, that you have never agreed to give up. No means no. If it takes peaceful protests like this that cause comparatively minor inconveniences to the public to have their voices finally heard, well, maybe we should learn to listen better.

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    • February 7, 2020 at 2:50 pm
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      LOL who cares about peoples commutes being disrupted. We as a society have been disrupting and destroying the lives of the indigenous peoples for hundreds of years. Get over yourself.

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      • February 8, 2020 at 11:03 am
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        Perfect comments Shauna, all supposed Canadians should feel be the same, thank you

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  • February 7, 2020 at 6:48 am
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    Trains are still delayed for about 3 hours. Via rail response is because of the First Nations Protest. I am with the First Nations to fight against the genocide eventhough this delay has impacted my life.

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  • February 8, 2020 at 4:44 pm
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    The demonstrators are being unreasonable. They do not have the right to halt public transport . They should be arrested. The RCMP are executing a court order that has been very thoroughly handled in BC. We all seek peaceful resolution of any dispute, and the rule of Law. The protesters in BC are to some degree illegitimate: many are not native, all of the affected elected Band Councils have agreed to the construction, the protesters say the represent the interest of a registered charity that does not represent the will of the majority of the local band and the funding for the protest is from the USA ( which is happy to be able to compel the sale of Canadian petroleum at discount prices because it is being blocked from reaching tide water.) The Tyendenaga protesters may be very sincere in their concerns, but are currently demonstrating in support of American Gas companies which are harming the very economy which pays them support.

    Reply
  • February 23, 2020 at 3:56 pm
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    I’m surprised nobody has drawn attention to the similarity between the assymetries of protestors vs. rail travellers and politicians on fluorothink vs. the water containing biome. If you’re not warmed up to fluorothink yet try the Winner of the 2019 Fluorothink Award at http://www.nfl.si/win

    Reply

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