More crybaby “Natives” complaining!
A judge who issued an injunction to stop a blockade on a main rail line between Toronto and Montreal on Saturday has criticized police for not trying to stop the protest.
The blockade, one of several Idle No More protests Saturday, halted passenger and freight travel on the line for several hours.
In Ontario Superior Court Justice David Brown’s written reasons for issuing the injunction, he says police stood by instead of attempting to stop the protest. He suggested a court order wasn’t needed, as police could have used “powers of arrest.”
When the protest continued into Saturday night, CN Rail requested an injunction to “clear the tracks” and Brown issued it. But he says the Ontario Provincial Police “would not assist the local sheriff to ensure the order was served by the time stipulated for the removal of the blockade.”
“We seem to be drifting into dangerous waters in the life of the public affairs of this province when courts cannot predict, with any practical degree of certainty, whether police agencies will assist in enforcing court injunctions against demonstrators who will not voluntarily cease unlawful activities, such as those carried on by the protesters in this case,” Brown wrote.
OPP Sgt. Pierre Chamberland said the force won’t be commenting on Brown’s written remarks, since the matter could end up back in court. The injunction lasts until Jan. 15.
The local sheriff who attended the blockade also refused to comment.
On Saturday, 15 protesters blocked a portion of tracks on the main line near Kingston by walking across it, lighting fires on the sides of the tracks and parking a pickup truck next to the tracks, Brown wrote.
Brown issued an injunction ordering an end to the blockade by no later than 12:01 a.m. Sunday — when post-Christmas traffic would create one of the line’s busiest days of the year — to avoid “irreparable harm” to CN. Saturday’s stoppage affected 1,000 passengers and would have affected 7,000 passengers if it stretched into Sunday, Brown wrote.
Protest spokesman Dan Doreen said the OPP didn’t try to make the group leave. He said they chose to leave on their own.
“OPP did do the right thing by not serving the injunction. They know down here, that they’re not going to force the Mohawk off the land with a piece of paper,” he said.
Protesters ended the blockade around midnight, but not “because the police had assisted in enforcing the (injunction),” Brown wrote. “I do not understand why the main line between Toronto and Montreal had to remain shut for several hours while a rail operator rushed off to court, while the police simply stood by, inactive.”
Doreen wouldn’t say whether more protests affecting CN tracks are planned.
Brown wrote that Saturday was the second time police had disregarded his order to stop a protest. On Dec. 21, he issued an injunction calling for an end to an Idle No More blockade on the busy CN spur line in Sarnia.
“To my astonishment, the local police failed to assist in enforcing that order until Jan. 2, 2013, under pressure from another judge of this court, a passage of almost two weeks,” Brown wrote.
CN says it’s concerned about “the serious impact illegal actions can cause to Canadian businesses” and “the uncertainty arising from the impossibility to predict whether police agencies will enforce orders of the court,” spokesman Jim Feeny said in a statement Monday.
“CN also notes that the court recognizes the authority of police officers to respond to criminal offences without the need for private parties to seek civil remedies.”