Violence Erupts During #Elsipogtog First Nation’s Anti-Fracking Protest
global protest on October 19 in support of the Elsipogtog Mi’kmaq demonstrators whose peaceful protest to protect (what used to be) their land from shale gas exploration was met with police dogs and riot squads Thursday.Thousands of people from at least 20 nations are expected to join a
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Sophia Banks @sophiaphotos
The Elsipogtog First Nation tribe has been barricading a road near Rexton, New Brunswick since September 30, after SWN Resources Canada announced plans to drill for shale gas without the community’s consent or consultation. The company wants to extract the gas using a controversial and harmful method called fracking — the hydraulic fracturing of rock used to bring valuable natural substances, like petroleum, to Earth’s surface.
If you transform the word “fracking” into the curse word it most closely resembles, that’s pretty much what the process does to the environment. It releases toxins into the ground and atmosphere that can be extremely harmful to plant, animal and human life.
Not only does SWN Resources plan on drilling into what will always be sacred Native Canadian land, regardless of who owns it, but the continued extracting and burning of fossil fuels around the world is the proven largest contributor to global warming.
The Mi’kmaq community is opposed to the project for cultural and environmental reasons, many of which are intertwined considering the First Nation’s great respect for all living things. The Mi’kmaq people also believe it’s their right to reclaim their land from the Crown; land they fought in six wars over the course 75 years to protect, successfully, but then lost in a treaty between Britain and France that they had no part in.
Photos of Thursday’s protest show tensions rising between protesters and heavily-armed RCMP police officers after “the chief was manhandled,” according to Elsipogtog councillor Robert Levi. “Dozens” were sprayed with pepper spray and high-pressure water. Tear gas and rubber bullets were also employed.
A group of protesters retaliated by lighting police cars on fire, resulting in the arrest of at least 40 people.
In August 2010, the Canadian government signed an agreement with the Mi’kmaq Nation, requiring them to consult with the Mi’kmaq Grand Council before engaging in any activities or projects that affect the tribe in Nova Scotia. No such deal has been made with the Mi’kmaq’s of neighboring Canadian province, New Brunswick.
Tweet #Elsipogtog to show your support for the Elsipogtog Mi’kmaq First Nation and the global anti-fracking movement.
Occupy Congress @OCongress
Photo of the day: Native pleads for land not to be exploited for natural resources by oil corporations. #Elsipogtog
Naomi Klein ✔ @NaomiAKlein
Todd Lamirande @ToddLamirande
Laura Brown @01LBrown
Elsipogtog Chief Arren Sock arrested MT @lionelwade1980: #Elsipogtog Chief & council getting arrested
RYOT NOTE: Hydraulic fracturing for shale gas has already started in New Brunswick – east of Sussex at Penobsquis and also in Elgin, and at least one major spill of frack fluid has occurred already. Donate to the NB Water First Legal Action Fund to stop further shale gas fracking, and win court protection for local families, their homes, their drinking water and the environment before irreparable, long term damage is done.