On February 6 2020 at 5:00am local time time the BC RCMP invaded Wet’suwet’en territory (LINK). Six hours later a group of Mohawk Warriors gathered at the rail crossing on Wyman Road (LINK)just South of Highway 2 in so-called Tyendinaga Township. They lit a fire in a barrel and asked that no trains pass through their territory until the RCMP left Wet’suwet’em Territory. Canadian National Railway immediately made the decision to halt the trains.
Almost immediately members of the community began arriving with wood, pizzas, coffee and chairs. Soon a large plow truck arrived, which would become the anchor of the demonstration. A camp quickly organized; a food tent, a trailer, a porta-potty and arctic tents quickly provided all the necessities for a prolonged encampment.
A second camp sprung up a few kilometers down the tracks. The OPP sent liaison officers to negotiate, CN filed an injunction which the Mohawks burned. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller to Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory on February 15(LINK). He came at the request of Tyendinaga Mohawks to Polish the Silver Covenant Chain, the first time a representative of Canada had done so in her 152-year history.
The talks bore little fruit however and Trudeau convened several emergency meetings and used increasingly assertive language when discussing the rail stoppage. Coming out of one of these meetings on February 21 he said: “it has been two weeks, and the barricades need to come down now.” (LINK)
On February 24 the OPP cleared the injunction zone set out by CN on Wyman Road. Ten Mohawk Warriors were violently arrested(LINK), two required hospitalization, Stuart Americanhorse is still in jail possibly facing extradition to the United States. On March 23rd these ten men along with twelve other Mohawks are scheduled to appear in court at 311 University Ave. in Toronto on a variety of warrants and summonses.
Immediately following the dismantling of the Wyman Road encampment the OPP began erecting an encampment at the site including concrete barricades and high powered floodlights. In response, the Mohawks began setting up a second, much more substantial, encampment.