Tyendinaga rail blockade leads to 3 arrests

Shawn Brant, one of the Tyendinaga Mohawks arrested on March 8, 2014.

Shawn Brant, one of the Tyendinaga Mohawks arrested on March 8, 2014.

By Jason Miller, The Intelligencer, Sunday, March 9, 2014

Shawn Brant is among three people charged in connection with a confrontation between police and native protesters at the scene of a Tyendinaga Township CN Rail blockade Saturday.

Around 10:15 a.m Saturday protesters started occupying the CN rail crossing at Wyman Road forcing the rail company to put a stop order on all trains using that line.

Speaking from the scene Saturday afternoon, OPP Sgt. Kristine Rae said a contingent of protesters who started blocking rail traffic at the Wyman Road rail crossing around 10:15 a.m. had cleared the scene after a legion of officers swarmed the area.

One of the four persons originally held was released unconditionally Saturday, while three were held over until Sunday, Rae said Sunday morning.

Sunday evening police released the names of those charged. Brant, 49, of Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory was charged with three counts of mischief.

Marc Baille, 27, of Kingston was charged with mischief over $5,000, assault with a weapon, Weapon Dangerous and Breach of Probation.

Brant was released and is scheduled to appear in Napanee court on April 1. Baille was remanded to appear Monday.

Also charged with obstruct police, is Tyendinaga Territory’s Matthew Doreen, 38. He too is scheduled to appear in a Napanee court April 1.

Police said further charges are pending. Rae said officers were monitoring the area Sunday but there was no signs of protesters.

“Everything is cleared but we still have a few officers patrolling the area just to ensure,” she said. “Everything has been quiet after yesterday (Saturday).”

A photo posted to Twitter from the scene Saturday showed at least 20 officers standing near the rail crossing while several vehicles carrying protesters left the site.

“During the arrest no one was injured,” Rae said, adding during the melee the window of a police vehicle was smashed and “the suspect at that time did hurt themselves and an officer received a minor injury as a result of the glass.”

CN Rail officials visited the scene Saturday to inspect the lines to ensure no damage was done, Rae said. At 1 p.m. the stop train order was lifted and the first train passed at approximately 1:30 p.m. Wyman Road reopened shortly after.

Protesters had cleared Shannonville Road, which was blocked since Sunday March 2, overnight Friday shifting their blockade to the rail tracks.

Rae said Shannonville Road remains clear for traffic and she couldn’t provide any information on if or where the protesters might strike again.

The rail blockade is an indication Mohawk protesters have upped the ante in their bid to send a strong message to Ottawa.

The group gained steam Friday afternoon when word came the federal government had no appetite for an inquiry into the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women, even after the release of parliamentary report Friday.

The report, tabled in the House of Commons, was built from a year of testimony urging such a public investigation be conducted.

It instead calls for support for the family of victims, better police data, support for aboriginal communities, action to reduce human trafficking and a public awareness campaign. Opposition MPs hastily dismissed the document as a whitewash.

Lead protester Shawn Brant issued warnings Friday he was cooking up a response to the federal government’s decision to shelve any possibility of an inquiry. He didn’t clarify what action would be taken.

The well-known activist in Quinte noted having the government take action would be a signal that Canada cares about the fate of those missing women and those who are responsible. Mohawk protesters are known to have blocked CN Rail traffic in the past, like blockades back in 2007, that stopped the flow of rail traffic in during the Day of Action protests.

http://www.intelligencer.ca/2014/03/09/rail-blockade-leads-to-arrests

Posted on March 9, 2014, in Indigenous Women and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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