Trains moving again after Idle No More blockade shuts rail line
Published Sunday, December 30, 2012 7:29PM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 31, 2012 11:02PM EST
Trains have started to move again after Idle No More protesters blocked the main rail line between Toronto and Montreal Sunday evening for more than three hours.
Approximately 2,000 passengers were affected as a result of the blockade which began shortly before 5 p.m., said Via Rail spokesperson Jacques C. Gagnon.
First Nations protesters mounted the blockade just east of Belleville, Ont.
Via Rail was initially told that the protest would end by 7 p.m., said Gagnon.
The train was eventually let through around 8:30 p.m., but the protesters remained near the tracks.
A total of 12 trains were stalled by the blockade, said Via Rail.
The Idle No More movement staged other protests Sunday in support of Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence, who launched a hunger strike on Dec. 11.
Spence is demanding a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper to discuss First Nations issues, including the protection of First Nations treaty rights.
A spokesperson for the protesters said they were rallying in support of Spence.
“All she asked for was a meeting with Harper and Harper has yet to answer on that,” said Dan Dorian.
Spence remains on an island in the Ottawa River. She was visited by more than 20 Members of Parliament on Sunday.