Rail blockade comes down

Photo: CTV News

While a blockade at the Pitt River Bridge started to come down Friday morning, West Coast Express service remains cancelled, leaving commuters from the Fraser Valley with a longer trip to work today. 

Afternoon service was cut Thursday after protesters blocked the tracks, reports CTV News. The blockade started to come down shortly before 8 a.m. Friday, but trains were still impacted. 

The demonstrators said they were inspired by other rail blockades across Canada in solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs.

Blockade participant Isabel Krupp told CTV News the West Coast Express was a "casualty" of a CP Rail blockade. 

"We're here to block the flow of commodities, the flow of stolen wealth, across stolen territories," she said.

"We understand that commuters are impacted. It's not our intention to impact regular working class people, but it is our intention to shut down Canada in solidarity with Wet'suwet'en and that does mean some people will are going to miss their work today, but what we're seeing happen up north on Wet'suwet'en territory is a colonial invasion, is colonial land theft."

Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West took to Twitter Thursday night to blast the action of the protesters, saying “working people” are being targeted. 

"They're the ones who are suffering, not a government, company or politician," he said.

"The protesters have deliberately targeted the commuter rail line in order to maximize the damage and chaos inflicted on people in Port Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge and Mission who have limited transport options. It must not stand."

with files from CTV Vancouver