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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

When justice fails stop the rails

I had a YouTube video sent to me last night showing how to stop trains with a simple ground wire for signal switches. The video was apparently made in support of native land claims. I was debating what to do with it and I’m glad in this case someone else was already on it:

An Internet how-to video on sabotaging railway lines in support of Native land claims has drawn the attention of the RCMP and triggered investigations by the country’s two main rail companies.

The video, posted Sunday on YouTube, illustrates how a single wire can trigger full-stop red light signals on the lines.

Experts say the tactic works and could have a serious impact on the economy by throwing train schedules into chaos if it doesn’t cause derailment. Train conductors are directed to stop immediately if faced with the signal.

Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway said their police divisions had launched investigations to track down the source of the video. The companies would not say whether they have had any recent phantom signal light incidents.

CN and Transport Canada asked YouTube to pull the video, which was created by a group dubbing themselves “The Railway Ties Collective.” (CNEWS)

From the video description:

There are more than 800 native land claims pending in Canada. The time it will take to resolve these is expected to be more than 200 years. Creating the political will for just and timely resolution will take your help. Real solidarity means shouldering some of the burden of struggle. At a time when money is more powerful than justice, governments need financial (dis)incentives to live up to their own laws.

We hope to promote the means and inspiration for effective, non-violent pressure on provincial and federal governments to act on First Nations land claims.

Twice in one year, in April of 2006 and 2007, community members from the Bay of Quinte Mohawks shut down the rail lines passing through their territory of Tyendinaga. The first time was in response to the OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) attack on the Six Nations reclamation site near Caledonia, Ontario. The second time was in response to the provincial refusal to revoke the operating permit for a private non-native gravel quarry on land that the federal government acknowledges belongs to the Mohawks. The Mohawks have shown the vulnerability of a major trade corridor for people and material. While few other communities could hold off a frontal assault by the OPP, there are other ways to close the rail lines.

[Darcey note: how to deleted]

When justice fails, stop the rails.


Lots of emails asking me why I didn’t post the link or republish the video I downloaded. Do you people think I’m stupid? I live in this country too. Watch CTV.

(c/p Dust my Broom)

Posted by Darcey on May 15, 2007 in Aboriginal Issues | Permalink


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whats this another form of terroism within the rank and file i pray these things will stop and they can sit down discuss this together instead of calling out the cops RCMP to stop this with bloodshed

Posted by: curtis b weed | 2007-05-15 10:17:17 AM

I think CN is handling it properly, suing the criminals whose blockading hurt their business.

Posted by: Markalta | 2007-05-15 10:45:29 AM

Curtis: "whats this another form of terroism...stop this with bloodshed"

I did a quick search of the news and I couldn't find a single instance of 'bloodshed'. In fact, the only report of a railway worker being injured was in a non-related story about a derailment.

Let's not abuse and dilute the word terrorism. Pretty soon everything will be terrorism, and then 'terrorism' will mean nothing. Think of how the word fascist doesn't boil our blood the way it used to—because it was too liberally applied to anything and everything we disagreed with. "The clerk at Denny's is a fascist for not accepting Amex." And now, "Terrorists spray painted graffiti on my rose arbor."

You can't put the guys who blow up Tel Aviv busses in the same category as kids who slow down shipments of barley without somehow playing down what happened in Tel Aviv.

Posted by: observer | 2007-05-15 11:21:56 AM

Markalta: You are completely wrong! Illegally stopping trains for political purposes is exactly what domestic terrorism is. Go look up terrorism in the dictionary. Oh, and btw I doubt it's "some kids" fooling around on the tracks that are doing this. It's full grown adults performing illegal acts for political gain.

Posted by: TacoFish | 2007-05-15 2:04:26 PM

The above post was to be addressed to observer, sorry Markalta.

Posted by: TacoFish | 2007-05-15 2:06:14 PM

The most pressing issue for Canada today, is to get these land treaties settled once and for all.

Aboriginal people who have not gone through the process, are stuck. And they and the rest of Canada, owe it to them and the rest of us who are not Aboriginal, to complete the negotiations, and settle the differences.

Aboriginal peoples are Canadians.

The Indian Act needs to be done away with.

The Liberals made the promise to deal with this situation and get rid of it, as stated back in the 70s. It never happenned.

It is not happenning quick enough now under the Conservative government even though I know there is a will to resolve.

And many people are making a living off of this situation, without any concern about completeing the process, so that people's children can move on.

And that goes for all of us.

Since all else has failed, I recommend we all pray for speedy resolution. And by that I mean all of us, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal. When hearts and minds are all beating to the rhythm of the same will, then these things will be resolved.

Posted by: Lady | 2007-05-15 2:09:29 PM

Railroads are not the only 'easy' targets. Many more are available.
We all need to get along.

Posted by: dewp | 2007-05-15 3:17:15 PM

With 50 000 would be muslim terrorists in Canada, we should do more than wishfull thinking.

Posted by: Rémi Houle | 2007-05-15 4:01:22 PM


"Railroads are not the only 'easy' targets. Many more are available.
We all need to get along. "

Nice sentiment. What should we do if someone refuses to listen to your wisdom and doesn't play well with others?

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-05-15 4:35:44 PM

". What should we do if someone refuses to listen to your wisdom and doesn't play well with others?"

I believe France has a surplus of white flags that we might be able to borrow.

Posted by: obc | 2007-05-15 4:46:59 PM

derailments DO kill! that is MURDER being incited. A very brave train man lost his life last month in Trail BC trying to prevent a worse catastrophe by riding a train that was heading for disaster.

He died attempting to save lives and prevent a serious accident.

I won't argue with an assessment calling this terrorism for that is exactly what it is.

These racist ignoramuses in the Native land claim issues forget that people with Native ancestry also ride the rails and work for the railways.

Their blood is no different, and if one of them dies, we all mourn.

Why on earth would they think that only "white" people die in a rail disaster?

ah, I answer my own question, because they are racist ignorant fools who don't see beyond their own noses, and presume that because they are on the government dole, that all other natives are too!

Posted by: canadian freedoms fan | 2007-05-15 5:10:32 PM

I "observe" that terrorism can sometimes simply mean making people be afraid.

Posted by: Darcey | 2007-05-15 6:52:04 PM

The idea of pulling such stunts is incredibly dangerous. There are not signals every two miles on this main to the best of my knowledge, and it doesn't bear thinking about the results of a VIA Rail passenger train hitting a stopped CN freight at 70 miles an hour would be.

As far as I am concerned, if there is any of this they deserve a long jail sentence. Settle the issues in court, that's why we have them ya know.

Posted by: TheMann | 2007-05-15 7:35:28 PM


What if those people have an irrational fear of aboriginal people, exhibited as racism and panic?

Nobody has to keep their normal behaviour in bounds to prevent IRRATIONAL behaviour.


No ... there is absolutely no harm, no derailment.
Please ... get this part straight.

The copper wire makes the red lights go on so the trains stop, just like they stop for a red light when another train is coming.

that's all. No big deal.

And as someone said, It is friggen amazing that such a simple thing can harmlessly do incredible damage to the economy.

I have no idea who posted this video, but I think it was likely the RCMP. Just doing their job, because heck there are going to be all these blockades this summer and for sure somebody's going to get hurt. Good of the RCMP to show a safe way to do it! A public service, I say.

Posted by: saga | 2007-05-15 7:44:03 PM

saga: No harm? Millions of dollars in lost revenue to a private company is no harm? Not to mention the hassles to local people. Sue the criminals who do this type of thing, and when they can't pay (which they can't 'cause they are lazy slobs who would rather sit around a bonfire), throw them in jail.

Posted by: MarkAlta | 2007-05-15 9:48:24 PM

Over the years we have experienced all sorts of such unlawful behaviour by Natives and by enviro-agitaters, because they have basically got off without penalty. If such unlawful behaviour carried a strong financial cost it would help.

Lady, I am not opposed to settling land claims, but I am opposed the way this has been carried out to date. The settlement must include an end to government welfare or whatever you wish to call it. What is the point of any settlement when the recipients continue receiving the same special status entitlements.

Posted by: Alain | 2007-05-16 12:48:46 AM

"saga: No harm? Millions of dollars in lost revenue to a private company is no harm?"

This is the mindset of a socialist - private companies deserve to be hurt financially. Only the wasteful government's assets must be protected.

Of course, the government earns not a penny - it just confiscates the money of hardworking people who do.

Posted by: obc | 2007-05-16 5:23:17 AM

On Politice (or was it Mike Puffy), an anger-filled native spokesman from Manitoba rationalized it was OK to destroy things like railway cars because they were inanimate objects.


Inanimate objects.

Remember that the next time images of burning cars are televised from Iraq.

Remember that the next time you hear some chanting marxist agitators.

Remember that as this story develops.

Inanimate objects, which on the whole seem to have outsmarted these three groups of intellectual giants.

May as well go about destroying house plants, since they also are much more peaceful than these brainless agitators.

‘Ya know, if we kill that house plant, it'll never opress us again.'


Posted by: Set you free | 2007-05-16 8:19:57 AM


Now, is not the Earth an inanimate object? Let us extend your analogy of house plants by orders of magnitude to, say, a rain forest. How would this logic play out using the topic of AGW applied to the inanimate Earth?

Posted by: Brent Weston | 2007-05-16 8:29:54 AM

People who have no qualms about destroying inanimate objects end up destroying people!

Just like "yoots" who torture cats and dogs grow up to become people who torture humans.

Posted by: obc | 2007-05-16 8:46:02 AM


Yet another hypocricy exposed!

Good job.

Posted by: Set you free | 2007-05-16 8:46:25 AM

I agree with Lady on this one. I would like to think that we could all co-exist in the same country peacefully. But this can not happen unless Canada takes responsiblity for it's past actions against the First Nation's people of this country. I am in full support of the blockades, if this is the only way to speed up the process, then by all means go for it. This has been going on for years with little to no progress made. Also there has been land that was borrowed from First Nation's and never returned after the government was done with it. So what does that mean?? That the government has the power to just take without any consequneces? It just doesn't make sense that this was allowed to happen in the first place.

Posted by: angeleyz | 2007-05-16 9:49:17 AM

This article linked to on the Censored blog:

Posted by: Brenda Norrell | 2007-05-16 12:34:33 PM


That's the thing. Those who engage in and get settlements must agree to becoming a part of the Canadian economy, with all the duties and responsibilities associated with that.

But let us get real. Most Aboriginal people already pay taxes, just like all other Canadians. There are only a few who are exempted.

With settlements of these claims comes the removal of those tax loups whereby over a period of a few years, they all become part of the system, and pay taxes. The resolve of land claims, gives them the title to their land, so they actually have ownership. They also stop being wards of the state.

Having said this, it in no way means they are not permitted to access the same welfare system as all other Canadians are.

They are Canadians, and they contribute so they are as entitled to anyone to live without starvation. Why would we have a system as wealthy as we have, without ensuring that we do not permit people to starve.

There are two ways we can go with this.

First, we get rid of the personal income taxes, so no one pays income taxes.

And second, we all work to ensure their are settlements. And, by that, settlements that are fair and work well for all.

There is no reason why we cannot get rid of personal income tax and live with a country that is free from the failures of the past. If we cannot resolve the income tax issue for all, then there have to be settlements.

Until then, these interuptions in railway and roads are actually hurting the common guy, and not the state--as those who engage in this kind of interuptive technique, are attempting to engage. And furthermore, they are slowing down the resolve, by removing monies from the system. The poorer the system, the less there will be available to make resolve--meaning their great-great-grandchildren might have to deal with these issues.

I look forward to a day when the claims are a part of the past. And, I believe that those who are actually getting closer to that, are also seeing that it is possible to move on. The more who get there, the speedier it will be, and the better it will be for all--so we can all get a move on.

Posted by: Lady | 2007-05-16 3:02:15 PM

Conquering nations, historically, conquer. Julius Caesar, Alexander, Darius 3rd, Hitler, the Norsemen, ad infinitum ad nauseum. They grabbed what they wanted and said "It's mine now."
What Britain and France didn't do 300 years ago, was to tell the truth to the indigents they conquered: that "We've no intention of doing anything but taking your stuff. We aren't here to bring you God, Democracy, or Enlightenment. We're here to get rich by taking what we want; now shut up and tow the line, or be killed, imprisoned, or worse ... ignored."
On the other hand, it's kind of difficult to take what's not yours without using either bloodshed or bullsh!t; the conquerors avoided some bloodshed by using a whole lot of bullsh!t.
Canadian indians are now C-A-N-A-D-I-A-N-S by virtue of the fact that 300 ago they weren't up to the task of repelling the invaders or effectively dealing with bullsh!t.
Now, 300 years later, the governing body of Canada is still feeding them(and us) bullsh!t and neither them nor us can effectively deal with bullsh!t; so we're all in the same boat.
What kind of success do you think you'll have in persuading non-indians that are being fleeced and lied to by their government that they need to do something about the state of the Canadian indian?
Folks, this is about power and money; it's not about any principle of injustice. When the indians claimed that a SW Ontario garbage dump near London could contaminate their water, they did so under the guise of principle; that health was a major concern. Funny how that principle was traded off for a cash settlement.
As far as non-indians go, the ones that are leading the pack for indian rights are people who are trying to make political brownie points with all of the lofty-principled-people so they can "make a difference"(read that: get re-elected). Political power leads to more cash.

Stopping the trains is about interrupting the flow of cash.
Stopping them from being stopped is also about flow of cash.

Who'd have thought?

Posted by: Gip | 2007-05-16 3:36:01 PM

Hate to tell you this, Gip, but Hitler failed to conquer--cause he and his nazi-scum-bags were losers!

Posted by: Lady | 2007-05-17 1:00:14 PM

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