Anti-Israel railway blockades cost freight companies tens of millions of dollars


Courtesy of anti-Israel blockades this year, the Canadian National Railway has lost millions and suffered “irreparable harm,” say courts in three provinces.

Injunctions have been sought to halt “Shut Down for Palestine” protesters by railway lawyers in Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick, reported Blacklock’s Reporter.

They claimed losses of some $55 million from a brief November 20 protest in Winnipeg that resulted in a three-day stoppage of transcontinental freight traffic. 

“I would have no difficulty in concluding that blockades of Canadian National Railway lines in New Brunswick would amount to irreparable harm to CN,” wrote Justice Robert Dysart of the New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench. “It would amount to an unlawful trespass on CN’s property.”

A November 29 blockade in Regina prompted the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench to issue an injunction. Ontario Superior Court issued a similar injunction on December 4, noting CN lines in the province carried $350 million worth of freight daily.

Justice Dysart said protesters did not “appear to have any centralized leadership” but organized rail blockades through social media.  Among them include the Facebook page “Good Trouble Network YQR,” a U.S. website ShutItDown4Palestine.Org and community groups like the “Queers for Palestine” Winnipeg chapter.

“Individuals are calling upon others across Canada to join in their efforts and take actions including blockades of CN Railway lines to impact the economy and specifically companies which they associate with being economically tied to Israel,” wrote Justice Dysart.

“Blockades on rail lines cause significant economic damage to CN, its customers and others,” wrote Ontario Justice Gina Papageorgiou. “The resulting impact on CN operations causes irreparable harm.”

Courts cited numerous threats including a Regina protester who posted a November 19 Instagram message stating: “If you think this is the end we are coming back bigger and stronger.”

This is a developing story.

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