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Updated: Sat, 08 Mar 2014 14:57:15 GMT | By The Canadian Press, cbc.ca

3 Mohawk protesters could be charged after Ontario rail blockade



A group of protesters occupied the CN Rail line near Belleville, Ont., upset that a federal report on missing and murdered aboriginal women did not call for a national inquiry. CBC

A group of protesters occupied the CN Rail line near Belleville, Ont., upset that a federal report on missing and murdered aboriginal women did not call for a national inquiry. CBC

Police have taken four people into custody after Mohawk protesters calling for an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women occupied CN Rail tracks east of Belleville, Ont.

Provincial police say demonstrators moved onto the tracks Saturday at about 10:15 a.m. ET in Napanee, leading to CN issuing a stop order for all trains.

Police said a protester smashed the window of an unmarked police vehicle. Then about one hour after officers arrived, four protesters were taken into custody.

One of them was then released but charges are pending for the other three, police said.

Early Saturday afternoon, Via Rail tweeted that all trains on the Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal routes were not running as a result of the blockade. But police also said trains began running along the rail line at 1 p.m. ET.

Demonstrators had vowed on Friday to step up their protest in response to a parliamentary report into missing and murdered aboriginal women that rejected numerous calls for a full public inquiry.

Report doesn't call for national inquiry

Protest spokesman Shawn Brant had said there will be consequences for a national inquiry not being called.

The activists have been blockading a road east of Belleville since last Sunday night.

The release of the missing women report on Friday set off a firestorm of criticism from opposition critics, First Nation leaders and human rights groups.

Liberal and NDP members who sat on the all-party panel issued their own dissenting reports, accusing the federal Conservatives of sanitizing the final report on an ongoing crisis that has caught the attention of the United Nations.

Among its 16 recommendations, the report calls on the Conservative government to work with the provinces, territories and municipalities to create a public awareness and prevention campaign focusing on violence against aboriginal women and girls.

It's estimated there are hundreds of cases of missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada dating back to the 1960s — officially as many as 600, and likely hundreds more unreported victims.

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