Standing Rock pipeline protest closes downtown streets
Major protest forces police to divert traffic during rush hour
An anti-pipeline protest with some 100 demonstrators made its way to Yonge and Dundas Square on Tuesday, blocking a series of downtown streets in the process.
The protest is now over.
The protesters began their demonstration near a Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) event on King Street West before police moved them to King and Duncan Street. The protest then moved north to Queen Street West before heading east to Yonge and north again to Yonge and Dundas.
Hugs at Yonge and Dundas as the anti-pipeline demonstration <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StandingRock?src=hash">#StandingRock</a> comes to an end <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cbcTO?src=hash">#cbcTO</a> <a href="https://t.co/Ub1NBxxT4g">pic.twitter.com/Ub1NBxxT4g</a>—@chrisgloverCBC
The demonstration is against the Dakota Access pipeline, a controversial project near an Native American reservation in North Dakota.
Many in the crowd chanted "Standing Rock," the name of the Sioux tribe that's been fighting to halt the construction of the pipeline. The demonstrators say the pipeline would damage the environment.
Anti-pipeline protest marched from King to Queen and Duncan in support of Standing Rock Sioux tribe <a href="https://t.co/nkVvxo5Xp5">pic.twitter.com/nkVvxo5Xp5</a>—@chrisgloverCBC
Janet Csontos, one of the protest's organizers, said her group wasn't targeting TIFF, they just wanted to be somewhere with a lot of people.
Csontos blasted the proposed pipeline, calling it "bad news" and criticized the companies behind it. She urged everyone to take a stand against the project.
"We need to stick together and we need to start unifying indigenous and non-indigenous people … it's the water that all of our grandkids are going to need," she told CBC News during the march.
Toronto police said it's unclear if the group had applied for a permit for the demonstration.
Const. David Hopkinson said the protest is peaceful and that officers are following along to "make sure they're protesting in peace without disrupting the area."
Toronto intersection blocked. "We stand with standing rock" <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/topoli?src=hash">#topoli</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cndpoli?src=hash">#cndpoli</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/onpoli?src=hash">#onpoli</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nodapl?src=hash">#nodapl</a> <a href="https://t.co/MuscCe9OjW">pic.twitter.com/MuscCe9OjW</a>—@AndersMiss