Solidarity rail blockade launched in Hamilton after OPP arrests in Tyendinaga

Protesters have established a rail blockade in Hamilton hours after Ontario Provincial Police dismantled a nearly three-week blockade in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.

According to a post on the Wet’suwet’en Strong: Hamilton in Solidarity Facebook group, the blockade began at 5 p.m. ET on Monday “in response to the OPP raid on Tyendinaga.”

“Our intention is to stay here indefinitely and we are calling on others to join us,” the post said.

“Come for a couple hours or stay for the night, and bring your friends!”

The Facebook post linked to the website North Shore Counter-Info, which is described as an anarchist and anti-authoritarian news site.

The website post said the solidarity blockade is happening on rail tracks just east of York Boulevard and north of the Desjardins Canal.

The blockade meant GO Transit suspended train service into Hamilton and West Harbour GO stations, a spokesperson for Metrolinx told Global News. Affected trains were being stopped at Aldershot GO station, and shuttle buses were set to bring commuters into Hamilton. Via Rail and Amtrak also utilize the rail corridor.

Located just southeast of the blockade site is a CN Rail yard.

A Hamilton police spokesperson said they were aware of the rail blockade but referred further questions to an on-duty officer. They were unavailable for comment.

The arrests in Tyendinaga came after a midnight deadline imposed by the OPP. In all, 10 people were charged on Monday — all of whom were later released on conditions.

The blockade near Belleville was established on Feb. 6 in a show of support for the hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation, who oppose the construction of a massive natural gas pipeline on their territory in B.C.

The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say the pipeline cannot proceed without their consent, despite the fact Coastal GasLink has received support from a number of other elected band councils along the 670-kilometre pipeline.

Solidarity blockades and protests have since developed in different parts of Canada.

Not far from Hamilton, OPP shut down the Highway 6 bypass in Caledonia as several protesters gathered on the road.

— With files from Rachael D’Amore

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