Ontario police clear people causing blockade with protest

Ontario police moved in Monday to clear indigenous protestors fighting a new pipeline who have caused major disruptions to the Canadian economy by blocking a key east-west rail artery for nearly three weeks.

The protesters, confronting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with a political crisis, had mounted the blockade on a Canadian National Railway (CN) line east of Toronto and at other places in support of a small group fighting construction of a natural gas pipeline on indigenous lands in British Columbia.

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Ontario Provincial Police began clearing the line at 8:15 am Monday morning after a midnight deadline for the blockade’s removal passed unheeded.

“Unfortunately, all avenues to successfully negotiate a peaceful resolution have been exhausted,” it said in a statement as the operation to enforce a court injunction got underway.

Televised images showed dozens of police officers taking away protestors in handcuffs one by one, after a few minor scuffles broke out.

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“This is Mohawk territory you’re on. You guys are trespassing,” one protestor could be heard shouting to police in a video posted online.

At least six people were detained, according to reports that said they could be heard singing and banging the inside of a police van.


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