CN Rail has filed a lawsuit against a group of anti-Israel protesters who blockaded a Winnipeg railway for hours.
The Canadian National Railway company filed a statement of claim in Manitoba's Court of King's Bench on November 21, one day after the demonstration, reported CTV News.
The demonstrators had blocked the railway in protest, calling to "free Palestine" and chanting "Gaza, Gaza we will rise." They told CTV News that they planned to block the movement of Israeli goods on the rail lines.
CN Rail is seeking damages from the protesters as well as a permanent injunction that would prevent them from further trespassing on railway lines in Manitoba.
"The acts of the Defendants engaged in the Blockade were unlawful and have caused and will continue to cause CN irreparable harm," the company said. CN Rail says that it had to close the tracks as a result of the blockade, which lasted about five hours. It says 16 CN trains were affected, along with two Via passenger trains that had 176 people on board.
The group involved in organizing the blockage, Queers for Palestine Winnipeg, said in a Wednesday press release that "No one involved in the November 20th rail blockade has been served with a lawsuit." The group blamed the media and "sloppy reporting" for sensationalizing what it calls CN Rail's routine response to protests.
Also on Wednesday, Queers for Palestine Winnipeg was promoting a similar blockade of a railway in Regina, Saskatchewan which lasted for several hours.
Protesters affiliated with the Good Trouble YQR network chanted "no private property on stolen land" and called for a permanent ceasefire in the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.
A temporary pause in fighting is currently underway, allowing for the release of Israeli hostages by Hamas and for humanitarian aid to enter Gaza. Israel has been firm in its position that combat will resume after the temporary deal expires.