On Monday, protestors took over the West Coast Express tracks and set up blockades. Altogether, two groups in support of the Wet’suwet’en were present and the train service eventually shut down. About two dozen police officials came to disperse the group and now, the West Coast Express is open.
According to a press release by Ridge Meadows RCMP, officials including the Canadian Pacific Rail police were called to peacefully end a protest taking place on the train tracks on Monday, February 24.
At around 3:40 p.m. the RCMP received the request from fellow police services to respond to the Wet’suwet’en solidarity protests taking place in the 22500 block area of the Haney Bypass.
The RCMP has stated that protestors set up tents on the train tracks which resulted in stopping all train services.
Eventually, additional police including the Metro Vancouver Transit Police were called to the scene.
After much negotiation, police eventually gave the demonstrators notice that they needed to vacate immediately at 6:15 p.m.
Around 10 minutes later, the protestors told police they were leaving and by 6:45, the tracks were then cleared by all protesters.
The Vancouver Sun has reported that there were two groups of demonstrators on the tracks, both marching in support of Wet’suwet’en people and their territory.
Because of the blockade, no trains were able to operate and TransLink was forced to make other arrangements for passengers.
The Vancouver Sun confirmed spoke with TransLink who explained that all passengers impacted by this were advised to take the SkyTrain to Coquitlam Central Station where a bus was working to shuttle people further.
#WCE West Coast Express is expected to run regular service the morning of Tuesday, Feb 25. Protesters are no longer… https://t.co/THzToF88XD— TransLink BC | Masks Mandatory (@TransLink BC | Masks Mandatory)1582604195.0
As of Tuesday morning, the blockades have been totally cleared and business is expected to run as usual.
TransLink even tweeted out that “protesters are no longer blocking the tracks in the Port Haney area, and we have been advised that we can run trains to Mission in preparation for tomorrows departures.”
Constable Julie Klaussner in the press release that “the goal for police in any circumstance is to ensure the safety of everyone and attempt to bring any situation to a peaceful resolution.”
These blockades are nothing new to the area and have shut down several important routes in the past.
Most recently, the protests in Vancouver completely shutdown Granville Bridge.
This isn't event the first time West Coast Express trains have been cancelled due to demonstrations.
One week ago, commuters were forced to find alternative routes as protestors blocked Pitt River rail bridge.