RCMP warns more confrontations loom if reinforcements bolster Mi'kmaq ranks

(RCMP officers display cache of weapons seized during Thursday’s raid. APTN/Photo)

APTN National News
FREDERICTON, N.B.-A senior RCMP officer warned Friday reinforcements reportedly travelling to New Brunswick to bolster Mi’kmaq ranks could lead to a repeat of the heavily-armed raid of a warrior society-anchored anti-fracking encampment by RCMP tactical units the day before.

Assistant Commissioner Roger Brown issued the warning during a press conference displaying rifles, ammunition and knives seized during Thursday’s raid. Brown said RCMP officers also seized improvised explosive devices.

“I am very concerned that others may be coming in support of or otherwise and my concern on that is how this is going to unfold today or tomorrow,” said Brown.

While Thursday’s raid appears to have temporarily neutralized some key players within the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society, there are widespread reports reinforcements are travelling to New Brunswick from other First Nation communities to join in the cause.

Images of camouflaged RCMP officers in sniper positions and burning cruisers inflamed emotions as they flashed across social media platforms Thursday.

Brown called for calm.

“I am urging everybody to allow things to calm down and everyone who wants to demonstrate to do so in a peaceful and law abiding manner,” he said.

Brown said shots were fired from within the encampment and Molotov cocktails were thrown at police during the raid. He said the RCMP seized three bolt-action, single shot hunting rifles, one fashioned with a bayonet, at the site which sits about 15 kilometres northeast of Elsipogtog First Nation and 80 kilometres north of Moncton.

RCMP officers, some wearing camouflage and wielding assault weapons, cleared the encampment Thursday to free SWN Resources Canada’s exploration vehicles which had been blocked by anti-fracking activists backed by the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society.

The guns were displayed on a table during a press conference at the RCMP’s New Brunswick headquarters in Fredericton. The guns appeared alongside piles of ammunition, bear spray and knives.

Brown said the guns, which were all legal, were hidden within the encampment which proved there were nefarious intentions behind their possession.

“When you see firearms of that nature, hidden underneath a tent, with ammo and fully accessible at a second’s notice, that is not the context one would find normal firearms in this situation,” he said.

Chief Superintendant Dwayne Gallant said seized improvised explosive devices included large commercial-grade fireworks packed with shrapnel made from shotgun pellets and small crushed rocks.

Brown said the encampment’s weaponry posed a serious public security threat.

“What triggered it was that situation was no longer secure, this situation was no longer a peaceful protest and that lives could be in danger,” said Brown.

A total of 40 people were arrested during a volatile day of protest that followed the raid. The RCMP said nine people had been charged with pointing a firearm, mischief, assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, obstructing justice and failing to abide by a court injunction.

The RCMP said 31 people had been released on undertakings and promises to appear.

There was also an attempt to burn the Elsipogtog RCMP police station at 2:30 a.m. Friday morning. The building is owned by the First Nation and the reserve’s fire department put out the flames before it caused any major damage, said the RCMP.

The band council for Elsipogtog First Nation, which has been at the heart of the anti-fracking opposition, distanced itself from the seized weapons. Chief Arren Sock and some band councillors also met with Brown on Thursday evening.

“Chief and Council of the Elsipogtog First Nation wish to state clearly that guns and bombs, if any, have no place in our peaceful efforts. The destruction of police vehicles was unfortunate and unnecessary,” said the statement. “A peaceful path forward still exists, but the situation is extremely volatile.”

Sock was meeting with New Brunswick Premier David Alward late into the evening Friday.

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Online Producer / Ottawa

Before moving to become the APTN News social media producer, Mark was the executive producer for the news in eastern Canada. Before starting with APTN in 2009, Mark worked at CBC Radio and Television in Newfoundland and Labrador and Ottawa.

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9 thoughts on “RCMP warns more confrontations loom if reinforcements bolster Mi'kmaq ranks

  1. Why is the NB govt. not putting a moratorium or a temporary stop to further oil/gas exploration on lands under Crown Protection till this thing gets settled?

  2. Cross Canada orchestrated Protests that shut down all bridges like the: Lionsgate, Kelowna, Confederation and the Mercier Bridge. The 401 Freeway, thd Cocohalla Highway and any others that will create Maximim Gridlock. Combine that with ploys that will halt Mass Transit and Air Travel will have the RCMP Running in Circles. Even better it will have Harper wondering what the Hell Happened to the Apathetic Indians!

  3. It comes to no surprise that the RCMP have worked hard to attempt to justify their Premeditated Actions. In my lifetime I cannot recall the RCMP showing force of this magnitude to support a First Nation Business or Initiative. Is justice colour blind?

  4. Wag the dog, courtesy of your RCMP. Why did they need all those officers on scene? To carry in, all those IED’s and weapons of Mass intimidation…Nice try on the PsyOps, but this has been seen elsewhere in the world… Pathetic and Weak.

  5. These people are lunatics. They won’t need reinforcement from the rest of RCMP. History repeats itself. They gonna need the army. A warning to the government. I am not native so it has nothing to do with me. There was a prophecy that the Canadian natives would rise and succeed if they did things right. Sovereign rights, not violence. God is with them. The other prophecies were right so I believe this one.

    But you will get what you put into it. First of all, the fight is against the corporation and not the blue men with a badge that is really nothing under the right jurisdiction. They are under acts and statuses and it has nothing to do with the law. They work for ICBC and they get money to keep up with the insurance scams that they ran for years. The cops are their agents. Their law is a law of consent. Under common law jurisdiction, they are clowns acting as the law. actors. They are there to serve and protect the people and not the corporation. That would be treason, wouldn’t it? If the army cannot be used against it’s own country, what gives the rights to a cop you figure? Just some thoughts. But you can’t go attack other without being at fault if you started it. If there are victims then even under common law jurisdiction you are screwed. Do it right or go home folks. We’re behind you.

  6. If Stephen Harper would respect that these are their lands they are invading and talk to us all like we have been asking for years none of this would happen. NO one in their right mind wants the destruction of our Earth air, water, and land. These are vital things we need to survive once these are gone so are we all. This is bigger than the RCMP their presence there is not needed either. This is there land and they say NO stay off of it respect them and do it. If someone came into your home and through you out what would you do? You would protect it same thing here no one can push or force us to do anything that is not safe and your tactics as well as Harpers are a threat and we will not let OUR EARTH die just so colonists can have money it is not who we are. Money can not buy a new EARTH so get real.

  7. A garbage can was lite on fire, in the back yard of the police station, your report makes its sound as if the police station was on fire..

  8. maybe the guns were there for protection, rather than dark intentions, I mean after all as aboriginal people we haven’t always received fair treatment from the “LAW”

  9. wow way to back track wouldn’t let the media in for all of Canada to see and they dig in the back and say look what we found. myself I hope this didn’t happen .

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