RCMP descends on Mi'kmaq-led anti-fracking blockade

RCMP officers moved in early Thursday morning to enforce an injunction against a Mi’kmaq barricade that has trapped exploration vehicles belonging to a Houston-based firm conducting shale gas exploration in New Brunswick.

(Elders drum pray and cry as RCMP officers move in to enforce injunction against anti-fracking barricade. Ossie Michelin/APTN)

By Ossie Michelin
APTN National News
REXTON, NB--RCMP officers moved in early Thursday morning to enforce an injunction against a Mi’kmaq-led barricade that has trapped exploration vehicles belonging to a Houston-based firm conducting shale gas exploration in New Brunswick.

An eye-witness who left the barricade after police moved in said a Molotov cocktail was thrown and that some warriors claimed they were “willing to die” holding the line. The eye-witness also said the RCMP officers moved in with guns drawn.

Miles Howe, a journalist with Media Co-op, also said in a Facebook posting that Molotov cocktails had been thrown at police and that rubber bullets had been fired in the surrounding woods.

“Currently still in standoff,” he wrote in the posting on wall of Facebook group, Shale Gas Alerts New Brunswick.

Police arrested some of the activists as residents from the Mi’kmaq community of Elsipogtog, which has been at the heart of the anti-fracking movement, swarmed to the site.

Drumming, cursing, crying and barking dogs echoed through the air as the activists at the barricade clashed with police.

The blockade against SWN Resources Canada sits just off Route 135 and about 80 kilometres north of Moncton and 15 km northeast of Elsipogtog. The blockade was the latest salvo in a battle against SWN’s shale gas exploration that raged throughout this past summer and led to dozens of arrests.

The blockade has been anchored by the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society which, at one point, blocked the highway completely. The warriors opened up one lane for traffic last week.

Mi’kmaq, Acadian and Anglophone residents in the area believe the discovery of shale gas will lead to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and they fear the extraction method poses a threat to the area’s water and environment.

SWN received an extension to the injunction against the blockade which had set to expire on Oct. 12.

Elsipogtog Chief Arren Sock had been in talks with New Brunswick Premier David Alward in hopes of finding a peaceful end to the blockade.

More to come

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15 thoughts on “RCMP descends on Mi'kmaq-led anti-fracking blockade

  1. One
    final verse from the Old Testament is especially telling. Ezekiel 47:12
    shows healing medicine will be made from the leaves of trees that are
    nourished by waters from the new temple in the new Jerusalem. Revelation
    22:2 echoes this scenario

  2. great capturing of the story as I understand it Ozzie….important cause this is Home for me….in NB. I’m so glad you’re there to get this Right!!

  3. 40 protestors arrested, 5 RCMP vehicles burned. Additonal support in the way of protests and blockades are in Tobique FN, Kingsclear FN, St. Mary’s FN, etc.

    NB Government should be ashamed of themselves!

  4. So proud of people for standing up to this corporation that has NO interest in the well-being of the people nearby. Stand strong!

  5. Hold your position, keep strong, you are powerful and brave to be standing up against this horrible injustice to our sacred earth.

  6. Way to go New Brunswick! We don’t want fracking in Ontario either. To quote Cheryle from facebook, “Stay strong!! Stand proud! We’re protectors of this land for our future children and children’s children.” Fracking has destroyed water quality and done nothing more than put money in the hands of a few corporations at the expense of the public. Time to wind down our reliance on fossil fuels. Link to info about fracking: http://ow.ly/hZ36Y

  7. Is not suprised at what the goverment is paying to do his other dirty work for him to as he could say he wins again we r going threw the same thing today in Quebec Poigan, the Unceded Territory, he threw that injunction at us n still going court today n he did a job at throwing more money on the res to fight amoungs each other n split families, we aint giving up all we want is the chief n councilors to stand with us…because it is time to stand up together as one nations n fight back we never Lost, Sold, Singed or Neogciated with ne one….

  8. It’s really sad that things which are illegal are being done.

    That being said, any NB’er with two brain cells knows that putting chemicals in our soil, polluting our water, and letting corporations from the US reap the profits – IS ONE STUPID IDEA.

    1. To be fair Jason, the law doesn’t always uphold what is just. What’s happening to the Mi’Kmaq people should be illegal, but it isn’t because our laws are written to benefit corporations who profit from resource extraction. The protesters are forced to use illegal means of resistance but we shouldn’t fault them for it, they’re totally in the right.

  9. The last thing NB needs in groundwater pollution and citizens living in an area with contaminated well water that raises cancer rates. This can’t go through, sending good vibes and strength to the Mi’kmaq for doing the right thing. How dare an American company come to NB and permanently disrupt the natural cycle…

  10. May my cousins keep their strength and may we be able to keep our land safe. May the creator keep them safe, and our land fruitful

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