About a dozen people from an Idle No More group based on the Akwesasne Mohawk reserve are marching today against shale gas exploration.
They blocked the Seaway International Bridge, also known as the Three Nations Bridge, connecting Cornwall, Ont. and Massena, NY for about an hour early on Saturday afternoon.
The group gathered to raise public awareness about the dangers of fracking, the process used to extract gas from the earth by injecting fluid into shale rocks to release the natural gas inside.
The demonstrators also wanted to show solidarity with the Mi’kmaq protesters in Rexton, N.B., where tensions exploded three weeks ago after the RCMP tried to dismantle a blockade set up by protesters.
The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne posted a note to its Facebook page on Nov. 6 saying its members had met with the group of protesters prior to the march and they confirmed bridge traffic wouldn't be disrupted.
The council said in the note that the group vowed instead to undertake an educational campaign and pass out leaflets during the demonstration. However, the protest veered onto the bridge, forcing local police to close it.
According to Cornwall police, the bridge has since re-opened and traffic is flowing freely.
No arrests have been reported so far. Akwesasne police were unavailable to comment.
Akwesasne straddles the border between Quebec, Ontario and New York.