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Sarnia railway clear after judge orders end to native blockade

Protesters march down Highway 40 after abandoning their blockade of the CN tracks in Sarnia, Ont., on Wednesday.

Geoff Robins/THE CANADIAN PRESS

A nearly two-week long blockade of a railway line in Sarnia, Ont., was being dismantled Wednesday night just hours after an Ontario judge ruled that it must come down.

Lawyers for CN Rail launched court action against Ron Plain, a member of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation, alleging that he was in contempt of an injunction to disband the protests on the railway tracks.

The court injunctions were issued on Dec. 21 and 27 and granted police the power to end the blockade to their discretion.

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CN also filed a motion for Sarnia Police Chief Phil Nelson to appear Wednesday before a judge to explain what the force was doing about the protest.

Protesters with the Aamjiwnaang First Nation set up the blockade last month to denounce the federal government's omnibus bill, C-45, which they say eliminates treaty and aboriginal rights set out in the Constitution.

CN spokesman Jim Feeny said Wednesday night that the blockade was being removed and once that was complete, railway crews would go in to inspect the track and signals.

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