3 Mohawk protesters charged after Ontario rail blockade
Via Rail trains between Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal delayed by protest
Ontario Provincial Police have charged three Mohawk protesters who occupied CN Rail tracks east of Belleville, Ont., on Saturday as part of a call for an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women.
Provincial police say demonstrators moved onto the tracks Saturday at about 10:15 a.m. ET in Napanee, leading to CN issuing a stop order for all trains.
Police said a protester smashed the window of an unmarked police vehicle. Then about one hour after officers arrived, four protesters were taken into custody.
One of them was then released.
On Monday, OPP charged a 27-year-old man with mischief over $5,000, assault with a weapon, weapon dangerous and breach of probation. A 49-year-old man faces two counts of mischief while a 38-year-old man was charged with obstruction of police and mischief.
The 27-year-old man charged with assault is scheduled to be back in court Monday, while the others are scheduled to return April 1.
VIA Rail stopped trains along the Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal route for a few hours during the demonstration.
Report doesn't call for national inquiry
Demonstrators had vowed on Friday to step up their protest in response to a parliamentary report into missing and murdered aboriginal women that rejected numerous calls for a full public inquiry.
The activists have been blockading a road east of Belleville since last Sunday night.
The release of the missing women report on Friday set off a firestorm of criticism from opposition critics, First Nation leaders and human rights groups.
Liberal and NDP members who sat on the all-party panel issued their own dissenting reports, accusing the federal Conservatives of sanitizing the final report on an ongoing crisis that has caught the attention of the United Nations.
Among its 16 recommendations, the report calls on the Conservative government to work with the provinces, territories and municipalities to create a public awareness and prevention campaign focusing on violence against aboriginal women and girls.
It's estimated there are hundreds of cases of missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada dating back to the 1960s — officially as many as 600, and likely hundreds more unreported victims.
With files from CBC News