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.
“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.
“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.