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  • Winnipeg Tribune

Pro-Palestinian Protesters in Winnipeg Sued by CN Rail

Pro-Palestinian protesters hang a banner while blocking CN Rail tracks in Winnipeg.
Protesters hang a banner while blocking CN Rail tracks in Winnipeg.

Winnipeg, November 27, 2023 - CN Rail has taken legal action against pro-Palestinian protesters who staged a blockade on November 20th, disrupting rail operations and causing significant financial losses. The lawsuit, filed in the Manitoba Court of King’s Bench, asserts that the rail company suffered substantial financial damages due to the blockade orchestrated by activists advocating for Palestine.

The blockade, which blocked the rail line for approximately five hours, stopped the movement of 16 freight trains and left two VIA Rail passenger trains stranded. CN Rail has stated in its claim that this disruption resulted in financial losses not only for the company but also for its customers, who faced escalated shipping costs.

According to the lawsuit, CN Rail asserts that the incident didn't just impact its financial status but has also inflicted harm on its business reputation, a blow that continues to affect its operations.

Pro-Palestinian protesters seen blocking the tracks of CN Rail in Winnipeg, which lasted nearly five hours.
A Pro-Palestinian protester seen blocking the tracks of CN Rail in Winnipeg.

Among those named in the lawsuit is Dasha Plett, a spokesperson for Queers for Palestine-Winnipeg. Additionally, other individuals have been listed as John and Jane Doe and persons unknown, presumably for their involvement in the blockade.

The legal action comes after a social media post from Queers for Palestine-Winnipeg surfaced, claiming responsibility for the blockade and expressing intentions to persist until their demands are met. The statement posted on social media by the group read, “We held the CN Rail blockade for five hours, costing CN millions of dollars and disrupting the Canadian economy. We’re done for the night but the movement is only growing. We won’t stop until the siege on Gaza is ended and Palestine is free.”

CN Rail's decision to pursue legal recourse against the protesters marks a significant development in the ongoing tensions between activism and corporate entities impacted by such demonstrations. The lawsuit seeks to address the financial repercussions incurred by the company as a result of the blockade.

As the legal proceedings unfold, it remains to be seen how this confrontation between activism and corporate interests will shape the discourse surrounding protests for social causes and their impact on essential infrastructure and businesses.


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