Today, October 19, 2013: GLOBAL FRACK-OFF!

“This is not just a native issue, this is an environmental issue, and it has to do with the water you drink, your children drink, and your children’s children drink.”

‘Indigenous communities like the Elsipogtog First Nation are on the frontlines of defending water and the land for everyone’

October 18, 2013

by Sarah Lazare, staff writer


Police raid on New Brunswick fracking blockade (Photo: APTN reporter Ossie Michelin, via Twitter)

Protests are sweeping Canada following Thursday’s assault by paramilitary-style police on members of indigenous Elsipogtog Mi’kmaq First Nation and local residents as they blockaded a New Brunswick fracking exploration site.

The group had barricaded a road near the town of Rexton in rural New Brunswick since September 30 to block shale gas exploration by SWN Resources Canada, a subsidiary of the Houston-based Southwestern Energy Co, that is moving forward without the community’s consent or consultation.

Thursday morning, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police stormed the protest, donning camouflage uniforms, wielding rifles, and bringing police dogs to the site. Kathleen Martens with Aboriginal Peoples Television Network reports, “[a]t least four RCMP cruisers were burned” in the events following the raid.

The RCMP announced that 40 people had been arrested, citing a court injunction against the protest.

“The RCMP is coming in here with their tear gas – they even had dogs on us,” Susan Levi-Peters, the former chief of the nearby Elsipogtog aboriginal reserve, told Reuters. “They were acting like we’re standing there with weapons, while we are standing there, as women, with drums and eagle feathers. This is crazy.” The media is reporting that some protesters threw molotov cocktails at the police, who reportedly tear gassed the crowd.

In the immediate aftermath of the violence, people across Canada mobilized to show solidarity for the besieged blockade, with APTN reporting that First Nations people across the country are putting a call out for an immediate show of support for the Elsipogtog members.

APTN reports that solidarity activists blocked a bridge in Listuguj, and supporters from Six Nations blocked part of a highway near Caledonia on Thursday. Organizers with IdleNoMore in Lethbridge, Alberta held a march through the city immediately following the raid. Solidarity demonstrations also took place in Washington, DC and New York on the doorstep of the Canadian consulates. lists over two dozen actions across the country, including solidarity flash mobs and mass marches.

“Protesters in Rexton are standing up to a Texas company that wants to profit on the backs of New Brunswickers while placing the water and the environment at risk,” stated Emma Lui, water campaigner with the Council of Canadians. “Indigenous communities like the Elsipogtog First Nation are on the frontlines of defending water and the land for everyone, and this should not be criminalized.”

As events continue to unfold, people are using Twitter to post news updates, photos and commentary.

Live Updates: Activists from 26 countries protest hydraulic fracturing

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0 Responses to Today, October 19, 2013: GLOBAL FRACK-OFF!

  1. Reblogged this on Apollosolaris's Blog and commented:
    Rexton Oct1713 Melee, rubber bullets and pepper spray as Chief and Council are arrested |

  2. Perhaps try this too:

    Help Increase Our Water Quality. Just CUT and PASTE
    Find Your Water District — List
    Water districts, at all levels like to say “Our water meets State requirements,” and will tell you “We do not look for metallic salts of aluminum, barium and strontium in our water supplies, because we do not consider them to be of public health concern.” The people who tell you this are not being forthcoming.

    Put you water agency on notice.

    When or if you find it within yourself to act on this plan, may I suggest doing so in the gentle spirit that we all want the same things…..clean, pure water and being meticulously specific when receiving generalized razzel-dazzle water agency public relations statesments by asking the agency to please specifically identify exactly those items on your below list, they are monitoring and respectfully ask to review their daily analysis logs. This tends to keep the focus of discussion on target.

    Ask them to then explain the forms of in-house laboratory analysis used and at what level of chemical sensitivity does it measure? (i.e., 1 part per billion?)

    These deadly toxins are being dumped daily into our water supply through aerial spraying. The water agencies are wrong, or at a minimum less than forthcoming and we should pressure them to demand higher standards of out State Water Quality Agency. READ MORE >>>

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