Hamilton police warn protesters blocking rail lines to leave area following injunction

Hamilton police say they are warning protesters who are blocking railway lines near Aldershot GO station to leave “the area peacefully” after being served an injunction.

“At this point in time, the protesters have been served with an injunction by CN rail. We are encouraging them to abide by that injunction and to leave the area peacefully,” Const. Jerome Stewart, media relations officer for Hamilton Police, told reporters Tuesday morning.

Protesters set up a rail blockade along the train tracks between Aldershot GO and Hamilton GO in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Nation hereditary chiefs who oppose the 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern British Columbia.

The blockade began Monday evening, hours after the Ontario Provincial Police dismantled a blockade in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory just east of Belleville, Ont., that lasted nearly three weeks.

Stewart did not give a timeline on when police will remove protesters.

“This is a fluid situation,” Stewart said. “Right now we are monitoring the situation. I can’t forecast the timeline. What’s important here is to maintain a peaceful environment and hopefully we can resolve this as soon as possible.”

Stewart added that officers are on scene where the blockade is and other officers are stationed in the immediate area.

“Because the injunction has been served, anyone other than law enforcement officers who are on the area would be in violation. Nobody else is allowed down there,” he said.

The blockade has caused GO Transit disruptions and train service has been suspended since Monday evening at Niagara Falls GO, St. Catharines GO, Hamilton GO or West Harbour GO stations. Shuttle buses have been running between those stations to Aldershot GO.

According to the Wet’suwet’en Strong: Hamilton in Solidarity Facebook group, a post on Tuesday morning said: “It’s a new day, and we started it by burning the injunction delivered by CN rail.” It also encouraged others to join the protest.

“Hamilton police does respect the right of people’s freedom of assembly and peaceful assembly and expression of freedom,” Stewart added. “However, we have a court injunction that’s in place right now and we are here to enforce that injunction if need be.

“Hopefully we don’t get to that stage. Hopefully, people will leave the area peacefully.”

Source: Read Full Article