#ShutdownCanada Halts Traffic At Highways 17 And 6

Protesters with the United Urban Warriors Society took to the highways 17 and 6 intersection during their protests on Feb. 13. Photo by Jessica Brousseau/The Mid-North Monitor/QMI Agency

Protesters with the United Urban Warriors Society took to the highways 17 and 6 intersection during their protests on Feb. 13. Photo by Jessica Brousseau/The Mid-North Monitor/QMI Agency

By JESSICA BROUSSEAU

Members and supporters of the United Urban Warrior Society (UUWS) refuse to be silent as they held another protest and traffic slow down.

Taking to the intersection of highways 17 and 6 on Feb. 13, members were holding their signs high.

With their cries for a national inquiry getting them nothing but rejection after rejection, ralliers were out to have their voice on all matters such as fracking, genocide, and water and land mistreatment heard.

In a national move, #shutdowncanada had Canadians alike taking to social media. A unity on and offline to shut down Canada for a few hours.

In a Facebook comment on the UUWS page, the message of the protest was to “significantly impact the Canadian economy for a day and demand there to be an independent inquiry into the 2,000+ cases of missing or murdered indigenous women.”

Isadore Pangowish, organizer of the UUWS of Manitoulin and the North Shore, said a round table discussion in planned for Feb. 27 regarding an inquiry, but added that is not what they want.

“How all of us First Nation people see it, there is absolutely no need for a round-table talk,” he said. “What we need is just the upper government and (the) Aboriginal minister to come out and tell us ‘We will do an inquiry.’”

Police presence was on the scene for the two hours to assist with the traffic slow down.

OPP Constable Wayne Berthelot said they were there to protect those protesting as well as the motorists travelling through the area.

For five minutes of every hour, the traffic flow through the intersection was stopped as ralliers took to the highway with their signs and their concerns.

With the small amount of time they had, Pangowish spoke to the protesters about why they were taking such action.

“Because of (Stephen) Harper, we are all standing out here. I know for me, I will not be quiet, I will not shut up and I will keep doing what I am doing.”

Another concern for Pangowish is Bill C-51, an Anti-Terrorism Act, which enacts the security of Canada Information Sharing Act and the Secure Air Travel Act, to amend the Criminal Code, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other acts.

“What we are doing right now, this will be illegal,” said Pangowish.

“They are calling us radicals,” cried one protester.

“Terrorist,” said another.

Ralliers starting calling out “Harper no more” as the stalled traffic lined the highway towards Nairn Centre.

With two minutes left of the slow down, Pangowish told those in attendance that they are the leaders, that they will not give up.

With mixed cries from the crowd, one woman’s voice spoke up saying their treaties need to be honoured, and their payment of $4 a year is not enough to raise her children.

“Four dollars does not cut it anymore.”

Once their time was up, members and supporters of UUWS headed back to the mediums of highways 17 and 6, as traffic continued flowing, honking their horns as they drove past.

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