But Mohawk Peacekeepers said they have no intention of enforcing court order
A Quebec court has ordered Mohawk protesters to dismantle a barricade erected along a rail line running through Kahnawake, south of Montreal.
The injunction takes effect immediately, but it was not immediately clear how it will be enforced.
At a public meeting in Kahnawake Monday night, the head of the Mohawk Peackeepers police service said it had no intention of carrying out a court order against the protesters.
On Tuesday, Premier François Legault raised the possibility that Quebec’s provincial police force, the Sûreté du Québec, would be involved in an operation.
“The barricades have to be dismantled for the good of the economy,” Legault said at an event in Montreal.
The blockade in Kahnawake has been in place in since February 8, disrupting both freight and commuter rail services.
Following Monday night’s community meeting in Kahnawake, the band council issued a statement applauding both the Quebec government and CP Rail for their patience, and for not having used the “confrontational tactic” of seeking an injunction.
Canadian Pacific Railway, which owns the rail line, filed the injunction request on Tuesday morning. Quebec’s attorney general is listed as an intervenor in the decision.
Protests continue elsewhere in Quebec
This latest development comes as protests continued elsewhere in Quebec in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs opposed to a pipeline in British Columbia and Mohawk activists arrested at a rail blockade yesterday in Ontario.
A few dozen people set up wooden pallets and camping gear along the line in the Lennoxville area of Sherbrooke, Que. One sign read: “Stand up. Fight back.”
As well, a blockade on the highway running through the Mohawk territory of Kanesatake and Oka, Que., 60 kilometres northwest of Montreal, was in place for a second day.
The mayor of Oka, Pascal Quevillon, said Tuesday morning school buses would be delayed due to the blockade, which has reduced Highway 344 to one lane.
“We hope that it doesn’t continue too long,” he said of the blockade.
Kanesatake resident Brigitte Beauvais said that partially blocking traffic is a peaceful way of expressing their support.
“It’s not anything aggressive. We’re not trying to, you know, fight with anybody. We’re just showing people that we’re in support with B.C. and Tyendinaga and they’re our brothers and sisters. And we’re just here to show that we’re supporting them,” she said.
On Monday, a spokesperson for the Sûreté du Québec said officers were “watching the situation very closely.”
With files from Kate McKenna and Radio-Canada’s Brigitte Marcoux
By: CBC News · Posted: Feb 25, 2020