An Indigenous demonstrator stands on top of a train that was blocked at a CN Railway crossing on Barlett Avenue in Toronto, near Dupont and Geary, on Nov. 21 for three hours. He is waving a Palestine and Mohawk flag. (Fernando Arce/New Canadian Media)
On Sunday, a group of peaceful demonstrators from various cultural and ethnic backgrounds blocked a train on the CN Railway tracks in Toronto as a sign of solidarity with Wet’suwet’en land defenders in British Columbia.
Sunday’s action in Toronto saw around 100 people peacefully hold the line as police watched on. Indigenous land defenders from various nations including Six Nations, Aamjiwnaang First Nation and Wet’suwet’en gave powerful, rallying speeches while allies occupied the territory among cries of “SHUT DOWN CANADA” for about three hours. Sage burned as the beat of the drum filled the air. Food was provided. Celebration and resistance mixed peacefully.
Immigrant settlers, she says, have a duty to learn of Canada’s dark history and of Indigenous people’s ongoing resistance against assimilation.
“They have used violence against us. They have killed us with diseases. They have overpowered us with guns and put us on reserves….In the past year, they’re digging up graves of children who are Indigenous, thousands upon thousands,” she told New Canadian Media at Sunday’s Toronto blockade.
“This is an example of what this justice system is about. It’s not about you or me or about a lot of people here. Why are we going to allow this? We have to push back.”
Fernando Arce is a freelance multimedia journalist, an active NCM-CAJ member and mentor, based in Toronto and writes strictly from an anti-imperialist, anti-colonial stance. His work is devoted to amplifying the voices of the grassroots and working classes as well as those of Indigenous Peoples resisting colonialism around the world. He sits on the Media Co-op's Board of Directors as an Editorial Representative and has been a member of the New Canadian Media-Canadian Association of Journalists collective since February 2021. He has a BA in Political Science from York University and an MA in Journalism from Western University.