'There can't be dialogue at the barrel of a gun' says protester in support of hereditary chiefs
HALIFAX -- Organizers estimate more than 500 people crowded into a downtown Halifax park on Sunday to show their support for the Wet'suwet'en chiefs.
They slowly made their way up Spring Garden Road, shutting down the street with a round dance.
Stacey Gomez says it shows many support the Wet'suwet'en protests in British Columbia, and she echoes their call.
"The hereditary chiefs are calling for nation-to-nation discussions, and for the RCMP to leave, because there can't be dialogue at the barrel of a gun," Gomez said.
But in Ontario Tuesday morning, police broke up a rail blockade and arrested several protesters.
It's a tough spot for Halifax restaurant owner Lucien Nehme.
Without rail service, he's running low on the propane that powers his stove and heats his building.
At this rate, he'll be out by the weekend.
"This weekend, I guess, if we don't have any delivery, we're going to shut down," said Nehme, who is the owner of Willman's Fish and Chips.
Nehme says he understands the protests and hopes for a quick resolution.
"I hope the government, they will find a solution to make everybody happy," Nehme said.
With trains stalled on the tracks, there is a worry about goods coming into the Port of Halifax.
"It is challenging, and it becomes more challenging with each passing day," said Lane Farguson of the Halifax Port Authority. "But at this point, the Port of Halifax is still open and the vessels can still call and we still are managing that space."
Gomez says protesters know there are inconveniences with interrupted rail service.
But she says it's a fair price to pay for their cause.
"There may be some minor inconveniences, with people able to get rail service for instance, but Indigenous people across the country have not had access to safe drinking water," Gomez said.
With the arrests in Ontario on Monday, Gomez says Maritimers can expect to see more action from solidarity groups.
It's uncertain when rail service might start back up again.
Officials from the Port of Halifax say they are working on a plan to ensure that whenever the trains start moving, they'll be able to get goods out right away.