At the rail blockade in Tyendinaga, Ontario, just east of Belleville, law enforcement was finally given the green light shortly after 8am today to descend upon the CN rail line and shut down the protest being held in solidarity with those hereditary chiefs in Wet’suwet’en, British Columbia, who are against the #CoastalGasLink mega-project.
The protesters foolishly turned down an offer of clemency if they had chosen to leave the area by Sunday midnight; as a consequence, about a dozen protesters were arrested and hauled off, while their vehicles were towed away.
But in the aftermath, questions arise:
Why was this illegal protest tolerated for almost three weeks — especially given that all 20 band councils in British Columbia support the Coastal GasLink project? And why did so many media outlets promote the false narrative that the majority of natives are opposed to Coastal GasLink when the precise opposite is true?
And what was with the laissez-faire attitude of the Trudeau Liberals toward the rule of law and court injunctions — even though the rail blockades have cost the Canadian economy hundreds of millions of dollars?
And finally, given that this blockade went on for far too long without any serious repercussions being handed down to the railway radicals, what is to stop copycat blockades from springing up? (Indeed, shortly after the protesters were removed in Tyendinaga, a handful of Quebec Mohawks blockaded a road there.)
Bottom line: The trains are once again going to be rolling on the tracks. But it was shameful and cowardly that it took so long to make it so.