TYENDINAGA TOWNSHIP — Via and CN Rail are not allowed at this crossing — and neither is the Toronto Sun.
Not the chief and council of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte.
Not the OPP, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Doug Ford or elected Township of Tyendinaga Councillor Rick Phillips.
This order came from a man who — under a Mohawk warrior flag on his jacket — identifies as “First Nation, Big Chief, War Chief, Tomahawk.”
“You have to leave here now,” he said. “You are not allowed here.”
The CTV and CBC crews were OK to stay. But not us.
The intimidating bully got in my face and body checked me to show he meant it.
“I would call it belly bumping,” said a peer.
Whatever it was, I know I wouldn’t be allowed to do that to him.
If anti-pipeline protesters are allowed here, journalists are, too.
As confirmed by the OPP, the physical incident was on Township of Tyendinaga — not Indigenous — land, anyway.
But when they can stop the train service for a week, they can do whatever they want to whomever they want.
One CBC reporter suggested “don’t provoke him.” Another media type said you have to behave a certain way “when you are in their house.”
But it’s not their house. It’s the railway that connects the country.
And even the chief of the Mohawk territory says he was not involved train travel being stopped.
“They just went ahead and did it. They didn’t consult me or the council,” said Chief Donald Maracle.
But he’s not going to ask them to move.
He’s not alone. No political or law enforcement leader seems to have an answer. These protesters huddled near a bonfire under the Mohawk warrior flag attached to the train safety warning lights, are the boss.
They know they can do whatever they want without repercussions. That’s why this standoff has inconvenienced 20,000 people and thousands of businesses, too.
No one in authority has the guts to stand up to this thuggery by enforcing the basic law of the land.
Of course, enforcement of laws here is a fluid concept here. Every six metres, it seems, you will find an unlicensed pot and tobacco shops.
So it’s not a surprise no one can open up this railway blockade and remove the dozen people who don’t represent this Mohawk territory or those First Nations out west who want a pipeline.
Law enforcement turns a blind eye here.
None of the contraband sold in the 40 or so marijuana stores would be tolerated outside these Mohawk territory borders.
The normal rules don’t apply here. On the other side of the line, however, it’s different.
Just recently, the OPP gave out tickets for stranded drivers who took it upon themselves to turn around on the blocked Hwy. 401 thanks to a jackknifed truck.
It’s zero tolerance for some things. If you talk on your cellphone down here along Hwy. 2 or the 401, the OPP will be there with a ticket — as they should be.
But block passenger and freight trains, it’s a hands-off policy.