The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Support growing for First Nations blockade of CN Rail line in Sarnia: group

  • Print

SARNIA, Ont. - A member of a southwestern Ontario First Nation blockading a CN Rail line in Sarnia says gestures of support are flooding in as the protest reaches its fifth day.

Ron Plain of the Aamjiwnaang (AWN'-ja-nong) First Nation says donations such as blankets and food and other offers of help are coming in from within the province and from as far away as California as word spreads through social media.

The protesters are denouncing the Harper government’s omnibus Bill C-45, which they claim eliminates treaty and aboriginal rights set out in the Constitution

Plain says organizers have yet to decide whether to challenge a court injunction granting police the power to end the protest.

Sarnia police have said they won't move to stop the blockade unless there is a safety risk.

Demonstrators say the blockade will continue until Prime Minister Stephen Harper meets with Attiwapiskat Chief Theresa Spence. The leader of the northern Ontario First Nation is on a hunger strike in Ottawa to bring attention to aboriginal issues.

Meanwhile, members of two First Nations near Sault Ste. Marie in northern Ontario have posted a message on Facebook saying they plan to launch their own rail blockade on Thursday to back Spence.

Plain says there is an "air of excitement" at the Sarnia blockade, with Aamjiwnaang youth — who started the protest Friday as part of the national Idle No More movement — building snowmen along the tracks.

"The resolve of the community seems to be deepening," Plain said, adding the demonstration is "turning into a community event as opposed to a blockade."

The protest has seen dozens huddle around tents, tables and vehicles, shutting off rail access to several chemical plants.

"We've got people coming in from all over Ontario. We've got people coming in from the United States to sit in," Plain added.

Plain said a representative for the rail company spoke with organizers Monday, but the talks were not fruitful.

He said the First Nation is unwavering in its stance that the tracks were not laid legitimately.

"Our view is a very solid view in that the tracks are not permitted on that road. There was never any kind of permit issued for those tracks to cross there."

Spence started her hunger strike on Dec. 11, and has been living in a teepee on an island in the Ottawa River that many aboriginals consider to be sacred land.

She is seeking a meeting with Harper, the governor general and First Nations leaders to discuss the treaty relationship.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Winnipeg Cheapskate: Cheap summer weekends

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • MIKE.DEAL@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 110621 - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 -  Doug Chorney, president Keystone Agricultural Producers flight over South Western Manitoba to check on the condition of farming fields. MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
my2011poy
  • A gaggle of Canada geese goslings at Woodsworth Park in Winnipeg Monday- See Project Honk Day 05- May 07, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Will higher pork prices change your grocery-shopping habits?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google