Protest for Indigenous women and girls halts rail traffic near Tyendinaga

Women from Tyendinaga lead blockade of VIA Rail train, March 19, 2014.

Women from Tyendinaga lead blockade of VIA Rail train, March 19, 2014.

APTN National News, March 19, 2014

Rail traffic has been halted between Montreal and Toronto after a protest near Tyendinaga triggered a shut down of CN Rail’s main line tracks beginning Tuesday evening to pressure the federal government to call a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women.

The protest started around 9:30 p.m. when about 20 people, led by women from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, shut down the tracks by lighting fires on either side.

“We were called to this. We choose to do our part,” a female protester told APTN National News by text Tuesday night.

She didn’t identify herself, but said they began Tuesday in preparation of what they were calling a “day of action” Wednesday to force an inquiry into the hundreds of documented missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

The government has refused to call one.

By about 11 a.m. Wednesday more women were showing up to the protest and the tracks were still shutdown.

Pictures from the scene show women singing and drumming around a fire.

It was just a couple weeks ago when the several Mohawk men were arrested when they blocked the same tracks.

The OPP arrested them shortly after the protest began. Rail traffic was halted for several hours.

Three were later charged, including Mohawk activist Shawn Brant with two counts of mischief.

The women at the protest have said Brant isn’t involved this time.

Update: the blockade has since ended.  No arrests have been reported.

Posted on March 19, 2014, in Indigenous Women and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I was there and showed my support. There was not a blockade! Look carefully do you see the rails blocked? Nope,just a beautiful and peaceful group of people asking for awareness and justice. Asking for authorities and media to investigate and search for our missing and murdered indiginous women. We deserve the same respect as non aboriginal people. Much love and respect.

  2. We did not block the railway. This was not a Blockade.
    We lifted up our voices for: Murdered and Missing Woman and Girls.
    We were/are asking for an Independent Inquiry

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