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Anti-pipeline activists arrested in New Hazelton for blockading CN Rail tracks

Last Updated Feb 25, 2020 at 4:09 pm PST

FILE - CN Rail photo.

About two dozen people blockaded the tracks west of New Hazelton

One man was nearly hit by a train on the tracks, before CN knew of the blockade

Those arrested refused to leave the tracks: RCMP

NEW HAZELTON (NEWS 1130) – Fourteen people were arrested by RCMP on Monday for blockading the CN Rail tracks near New Hazelton in northern B.C.

Police were called by the Canadian National Police Service after at least two dozen Indigenous rights and pipeline activists blocked the tracks west of New Hazelton, north of Terrace.

One man was nearly hit by a train on the tracks, before CN knew of the blockade, RCMP said in a release.

Police, enforcing a court-ordered injunction, arrested seven people who they said refused to leave the tracks.

They were released from custody with an upcoming court date and conditions to abide by the injunction order.

Police said a large group of protesters remained in the area throughout the evening and blocked Highway 16.

Around midnight, four RCMP patrol cars, parked across from the highway, had their tires slashed.

“The RCMP is investigating this criminal action and will take steps to ensure that those who damage property or threaten the safety of anyone may be held accountable in a court of law,” Cpl. Madonna Saunderson said in a release.

She also said blocking rail tracks is dangerous and unlawful.

“Should they put themselves in harm’s way, protesters are not only putting their own lives at risk, they are also putting the lives of train operators, rail employees, responding police officers and members of the public at risk.”