CBC: Elsipogtog chief addresses tensions over shale gas

SOURCE: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2013/06/27/nb-shale-gas-elsipogtog-1217.html

Elsipogtog chief addresses tensions over shale gas

Chief Arren Sock calls for moratorium on shale gas exploration

Posted: Jun 27, 2013 12:29 PM AT, Last Updated: Jun 27, 2013 12:28 PM AT

Elsipogtog First Nation Chief Arren Sock again called for a moratorium on shale gas exploration in his eastern New Brunswick community during a press conference Thursday to discuss the growing tensions between the police and protesters.

Elsipogtog First Nation Chief Arren Sock called for a moratorium on shale gas exploration on Thursday. Elsipogtog First Nation Chief Arren Sock called for a moratorium on shale gas exploration on Thursday. (Jennifer Choi/CBC)SWN Resources Canada has been conducting seismic testing in the area but it has been met by weeks of protests.

The RCMP has arrested 33 protesters at various demonstrations in Kent County in recent weeks.

“We will continue to say no to shale gas,” Sock told the news conference.

He also appointed Wendall Nicholas, a member of the Tobique First Nation, as a “peacekeeper.“

Nicholas was asked to observe and write a report on the treatment of aboriginal people.

He will also act as a liaison between the RCMP and the protesters in order to diffuse any situations that become tense in the future.

Protest site moved

Anti-shale gas protesters moved their camp away from Harcourt and closer to the Elsipogtog First Nation. Anti-shale gas protesters moved their camp away from Harcourt and closer to the Elsipogtog First Nation. (Stephen Puddicombe/CBC)Earlier on Thursday, protesters, who call themselves protectors of the land, moved their campsite from Highway 126 in Harcourt.

Most of the protesters are from Elsipogtog First Nation and they have moved their sacred fire down the road, closer to home.

Gary Simon, a spokesperson for the group, said the decision shouldn’t be seen as giving up the protest against seismic testing.

“They are pretty much done seismic testing over here, they are testing closer to the Elsipogtog reserve, and we’ll be closer to home, closer to family, closer to support,” he said.

There was a heavy police presence in the area on Wednesday after a drilling machine was set on fire and destroyed.

People involved in the protest say they are against such acts of vandalism.

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