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Idle No More: Chief says protesters won’t block Ambassador Bridge border crossing


GEOFF ROBINS/REUTERS FILE PHOTO Protesters block a border crossing in Sarna on Jan. 5. Thursday morning protesters gathered at the Ambassador Bridge in Windor, before a protest there.

Protesters say a rally today at the foot of the Ambassador Bridge may cause delays, but it will be peaceful.

Rallies, protests and forums are planned throughout Canada today, as part of a national day of action under the Idle No More banner.

Delaware Nation Chief Greg Peters said people from eight First Nations communities in southern Ontario are planning to attend a peaceful walk from Huron Church Rd. and Tecumseh Rd. W. in Windsor north to the foot of the bridge, which connects to Detroit, starting at 11 a.m.

Right now I’d estimate the numbers to be 600 to 700 before we even get going. I’m looking at 10 buses and probably about 100 cars,” Peters said at about 10 a.m.

Once protesters arrive, they will rally and hold a round dance.

“It has never been our intent to blockade the bridge. Our crowd is filled with women and children and elders. It’s about unity and education,” Peters said.

“I hope when people see us all come together that they’ll get the message we’re not divided, that we’re not happy with the way the government deals with us.”

Windsor Police Sgt. Matthew D’Asti said many of the buses with protesters were parked at a service centre on Hwy. 401. Police are setting up a command centre near where the protest is expected to happen.

“We’re hearing numbers of 300 and 500 demonstrators,” D’Asti said.

Travellers can follow Windsor Police on Twitter for the latest updates on how the protest affects traffic near the Ambassador Bridge.

The Canadian Border Services Agency posts average wait times for crossing the Ambassador Bridge on its Twitter account.

The Ontario Provincial Police have warned of traffic delays on 400-series highways today because of protest activity.

Niagara Regional Police say people should take alternate routes to avoid road blockades from a protest at Stanley Ave. and Hwy. 420. – News