Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Protesters shut down Rainbow Bridge

Mike Desmond

The Rainbow Bridge was shut down by protesters for hours Sunday afternoon . They were supporting the growing fight over running a pipeline across a First Nations reservation in British Columbia.

Sunday's protest at the Ontario side of the Peace Bridge was focused on plans by Coastal Gaslink to build a pipeline through the territory of the Wet’suwet’en in British Columbia. The event drew support from the United States.

Jeff Hill, an Oneida from near Syracuse, shared broader concerns.

"Being a Haudenosaunee, our treaties are one of the strongest in the nation," Hill explained.

"But, yet if they can do it to them, what can they do to us?"

The pipeline is a $40 billion project. While proponents argue it is important to the Canadian economy, protests over it are having a financial impact. In addition to shutting down an international crossing on Sunday, protests have interrupted rail service in British Columbia and Ontario.

"The police don't hesitate to assert themselves when it's in the financial interest," said Karl Dockstader, an Oneida from Central New York.

"So, it's important for us as a community to say that we stand in solidarity."

Though there was a significant police presence during Sunday's protest at the Rainbow Bridge, law enforcement never attempted to intervene.