Wet'suwet'en solidarity blockade set up at CN Rail line near Venables Street and Glen Drive in East Vancouver

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      Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's call on Friday (February 21) for an end to rail blockades hasn't had the effect that he's intended.

      Mohawks continue maintaining an encampment by a CN Rail line near Belleville, Ontario. And a blockade was set up this weekend in Saskatchewan.

      Today, supporters of Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs have gathered around the tracks near the corner of Venables Street and Glen Drive, where a previous direct action was held after police shut down a blockade of the nearby Port of Vancouver.

      "Justice can't be injuncted: we are together in the streets to stand strong with the true governance systems of Turtle Island, including the Hereditary Chiefs of Wet'suwet'en," the @solidaritycst Twitter feed states.

      Turtle Island is a name often used for North America by supporters of Indigenous land rights.

      Vancouver police are on the scene and have posted a B.C. Supreme Court injunction, which was obtained earlier this month by CN Rail.

      A statement on the same Twitter feed declares that injunctions "criminalize dissent".

      "Since solidarity actions began during the week of February 3, 2020 in response to an international callout from Unist'ot'en and Gidimt'en, broad, vague and indefinite injunctions have been granted to the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, CN Rail for all trains in southern BC, BC Ferries, TransLink, and in Victoria, for all legislative buildings," it states. "These injunctions further criminalize dissent against the actions of Coastal GasLink and the government."

      The statement adds that an injunction obtained by Coastal GasLink on unceded traditional Wet'suwet'en territory "directly contradicts the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) which was legislated in BC at the end of November 2019".

      Arrests to enforce the Coastal GasLink injunction earlier this month triggered a wave of solidarity actions in different parts of the country.

      "Our actions taken in solidarity with Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs are Indigenous-led strikes that have set up picket lines at ports, legislative offices, and rail lines," it maintains.

      "Civil disobedience is necessary to push back against the enforcement of unjust laws. We demand an end to the use of injunctions to repress Indigenous peoples."

      Meanwhile, Conservative leadership candidate Peter MacKay told CTV Question Period today Albertans who took down a blockade earlier this month were "good samaritans". 

      The former justice minister had earlier taken down a tweet praising these Albertans' actions after they confronted activists and removed their signs.

      The host, Evan Solomon, responded that a lot of people said that MacKay was supporting vigilante justice when he tweeted support for that action.

      "You were one of the people who accused me of encouraging vigilantism," MacKay, a former justice minister, replied. "And that's partly in response to you why I clarified it. You know, even reporters sometimes have to clarify themselves."

      Solomon then insisted that he's never once used the term "vigilantism".

      Conservative leadership candidate and former justice minister Peter MacKay claims that supporters of Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs are the "real vigilantes".

      Later in the interview, MacKay declared: "The real vigilantes are the people involved in these protests who are impeding safe passage of rail, who are preventing important goods—like propane, food, medicine—getting to communities, who are causing massive problems in terms of people's employment and their ability to get to work.

      "This is paralyzing the economy of Canada," MacKay said. "And all the while, the government of Canada itself seems paralyzed."


      Later this afternoon, the Vancouver blockade was voluntarily taken down.