If you're travelling through downtown Ottawa today, you might want to look into alternative routes. Hundreds of protesters have gathered in the city's downtown core this Monday in support of the Ottawa Wet’suwet’en Rally. According to CTV, the demonstration, which began at Parliament Hill, is expected to last up to 4 hours before concluding in the downtown area.
A large gathering of activists could be seen on video participating in a "round dance" as they made their way through the streets of Ottawa.
Carleton University's website states that a "round dance" was initially a healing ceremony that later transformed into social dance for indigenous people. It is typically held in the winter season.
Ottawa Police confirmed on Twitter that they had deployed a traffic team to monitor the demonstration. A wall of police officers was later spotted, forming a line blocking Wellington Street near the Supreme Court.
"Our Traffic Team will be deployed downtown all day for the Wet'Suwet'en demo. It begins at 0900 on the Hill but will move onto the roadways shortly thereafter," Sgt. Mark Gatien tweeted out on Monday morning.
"If you don't need to be downtown in a vehicle, please stay away, rolling road closures for I don't know how long."
A Facebook event entitled "All Eyes on Parliament: Rally for the Wet'suwet'en" was set up ahead of Monday's protest.
#HAPPENINGNOW Round dance at Sussex and Rideau in support of #Wetsuweten First Nation. We are on hour 4 of the demo… https://t.co/yvTCHioaAw— Christina Succi (@Christina Succi)1582565935.0
The scene right now. https://t.co/73sUeWEaDA— Matthew Kupfer CBC (@Matthew Kupfer CBC)1582565774.0
"Ottawa, show up like never before! We need to unite and keep up the pressure in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en nation," read a statement in the group.
However, Downtown Ottawa isn't the only place in Canada to be shut down by demonstrations.
Protest approaching Parliament Hill #ottawa https://t.co/jDcjBebVPl— MammaPippa (@MammaPippa)1582568691.0
The OPP were responding to protests in Tyendinaga near Belleville, Ontario Monday morning.
Solidarity protests led to widespread VIA Rail cancellations after blockades were set up along train tracks across the country.
As a result, the rail company was forced to refund purchased tickets and to suspend 1,000 employees.
It's worth noting that the suspended workers will not lose their jobs.