Tyendinaga Mohawks launch temporary rail blockade on main line between Toronto, Montreal

About three dozen Mohawks from Tyendinaga blocked the main rail line between Toronto and Montreal for several hours Sunday in support of hunger-striking Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence.

(Correction: Dan Doreen’s name was incorrectly spelled.)

By Kenneth Jackson and Jorge Barrera
APTN National News
About three dozen Mohawks from Tyendinaga blocked the main rail line between Toronto and Montreal for several hours Sunday in support of hunger-striking Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence and the Idle No More movement.

The move forced CN to suspend all rail traffic along the line.

The blockade stranded about 2,000 passengers, said VIA Rail in a statement to media.

This was the same rail line, between Belleville, Ont., and Napanee, Ont., shut down in 2007 for almost 12 hours by the Mohawks as part of a planned national day of action.

“It’s not about me, it’s not about you, it’s about Chief Spence and everyone else dying,” said Tom Maracle, a Mohawk from Tyendinaga, at the blockade.

Maracle, however, issued a warning.

“This is peaceful. The next one won’t be,” he said.

A fire was keeping the blockaders warm. The blockade was launched at about 4 p.m. local time. OPP arrived on the scene at about 8 p.m. The blockade was expected to end sometime late Sunday evening.

CN spokesman Jim Feeny said CN had suspended all rail traffic until the blockade ended.

“This is the main line,” he said. “It is a heavily used line…We are hoping that the issue can be resolved and that traffic can be resumed as quickly as possible.”

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Online Producer / Ottawa

Before moving to become the APTN News social media producer, Mark was the executive producer for the news in eastern Canada. Before starting with APTN in 2009, Mark worked at CBC Radio and Television in Newfoundland and Labrador and Ottawa.

7 thoughts on “Tyendinaga Mohawks launch temporary rail blockade on main line between Toronto, Montreal

  1. “We are hoping that the issue can be resolved and that traffic can be resumed as quickly as possible.” It would be nice if that could happen, Jim, but the Prime Minister isn’t on your side this time.

  2. United in our unity, our nation.. silence we will not be, right we stand wrongs will no more!! One loud voice, in every any all means that will allow mainstream to hear us. Our grassroots are loud, our voice as one nation..one unity.. IDOL no longer..

  3. “This is the main line,” he said. “It is a heavily used line…We are hoping that the issue can be resolved and that traffic can be resumed as quickly as possible.”

    HA!! The issue won’t be resolved until the government takes ownership of it’s treaty obligations. This guy thinks the issue is a blockade. The issue isn’t the blockade. The issue is a government that does not honour it’s agreements with the stewards of this land.

  4. Personally, I’m not in favour of blockades at this time. If, god forbid, the PM does not do the right thing and call a First Minister’s Conference of Aboriginal Leaders, and Chief Theresa Spence gives her last breath, then yes…. bring on the blockades and more. But until then, Idle No More, and what Chief Spence calls for is a peaceful call of attention. A flash round mob dance is a happy and spiritual celebration that does wonders and does not interfere. Let’s keep it that way— for now..

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