Canada’s largest energy union wants national fracking moratorium

Canada’s largest energy union wants national fracking moratorium

Posted November 14, 2013 by Damien Gillis in Economics

Canada's largest energy union calls for national fracking moratorium

First Nations and supporters protest fracking in Vancouver last month (Damien Gillis)

Canada’s largest private sector union, Unifor, has joined the growing chorus of concern over controversial shale gas development. The labour organization representing over 300,000 members in a wide range of economic sectors, including energy, is calling for a national fracking moratorium.

Unifor issued a statement from its 25-member National Executive Board Thursday raising concerns about the impacts of  shale gas development on the environment and on First Nations’ rights.

“Unconventional gas fracking has the potential to have catastrophic effects on our environment and economy. The safety risks are also a major concern for our union,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

Just because we can carry out this activity does not mean we should. We must enact a national moratorium on fracking activity.

Provinces pass fracking moratoriums

The call comes on the heels of provincial fracking moratoriums in Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador – and France’s recent national ban on shale gas.

Fracking has become a hot topic across the country in recent months.

In BC, a lawsuit against the provincial regulator over water permits for fracking was announced on Wednesday, while a high profile court case over water contamination winds its way through Alberta’s courts. The industry minister for the Northwest Territories is developing a new regulatory model for shale oil in advance of devolution, and fracking remains a highly controversial subject in New Brunswick, where First Nations recently clashed with the RCMP over exploratory work by an American company.

Support for First Nations

That last point was a key factor in Unifor’s decision to come out against fracking – as the union noted in its statement:

Any resource extraction industry in Canada must confront the problem of unresolved aboriginal land claims, and the inadequate economic benefits (including employment opportunities) which have been offered to First Nations communities from resource developments.

Despite the potential job benefits to its, members, Unifor remains highly critical of the shale gas industry, concluding:

Instead of being guided by short-term swings in prices and profits for private energy producers, Canada’s federal and provincial governments must develop and implement (in cooperation with other stakeholders) a national plan for a stable, sustainable energy industry that respects our social and environmental commitments, and generates lasting wealth for all who live here.

Council of Canadians calls for national fracking moratorium

Unifor’s call for a national moratorium echoes recent statements by public interest group The Council of Canadians.

Canada’s big energy workers’ unions are increasingly taking a critical look at the job promises from fossil fuel development. Watch this speech by president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, Dave Coles, at last year’s Defend Our Coast rally in Victoria, explaining why his members are “diametrically opposed” to Tar Sands pipelines to BC’s coast:

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Major Elsipogtog benefit concert in Halifax, November 30

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From the Facebook notice:

As promised!! Elsipogtog Benefit Concert time and venue details for Halifax, Saturday, November 30th!! **2 parts, 2 venues, 2 mins from each other lol**

First Location:
Mi’kmaq Native Friendship Center
6-8:00pm: Cultural Showcase, Vendors & Silent Auction!

Our Cultural Showcase features an internationally renowned group of Mi’kmaq singers, Eastern Eagle, as our host drum group. We also have All Nations Drum Group, dancers from all powwow styles and a Hoop Dance Exhibition. The Silent Auction will include Artwork, Fancy Shawl and Jingle dresses, hand drums, earrings, and anything else people would like to donate to help the benefit raise funds. All vendors are welcome and can contact me to reserve a table!

Second Location:
The Marquee Ballroom (19&Up)
8pm-2am: Fashion Show, Stand-Up Comedy, Solo Singers and 4 Live Bands!

To start, we have one super funny Mi’kmaq.. who was recently voted as Halifax’s Best Comedian, nominated by the ECMA’s, and host of “The Candy Show”, Candy Palmater, as our nights event host!! The Fashion Show will showcase HeadRush, The Vault and InkStarz Native designs by “Natasha Patles” and “Dwayne Ward”- which will include both female and male Mi’kmaq models. We then have special guest, “Ryan McMahon”, a very hilarious Ojibway Comedian, who’s flying in from Winnipeg to do Stand-Up Comedy for us! Our stacked music line-up includes Listiguj’s very own “Melissa Girven” and “Gmanwolf Productions”, “Kicking Krotch”, and two Aboriginal Hiphop Music groups who were recently nominated by the East Coast Music Awards for Aboriginal Recording Of The Year, “City Natives” and “Black & Grey” to perform for us LIVE!!! 🎤

This is a great cause and one East Coast event you don’t want to miss!! You can contact myself, Shelley Young, Molly Jean Peters, Sarah Swasson, Charmaine Sock, Savvy Simon and Marina Ann Young if you would like to purchase tickets. You can also order them from me via EMT, and have them mailed to you right away. Tickets are selling fast, so get em before they’re gone.

CBC: Idle No More group in Akwesasne protests fracking

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/idle-no-more-group-in-akwesasne-protests-fracking-1.2421198?cmp=rss

Idle No More group in Akwesasne protests fracking

CBC News Posted: Nov 09, 2013 2:45 PM ET Last Updated: Nov 09, 2013 3:47 PM ET

About a dozen people from an Idle No More group based on the Akwesasne Mohawk reserve are marching today against shale gas exploration.

They blocked the Seaway International Bridge, also known as the Three Nations Bridge, connecting Cornwall, Ont. and Massena, NY for about an hour early on Saturday afternoon.

The group gathered to raise public awareness about the dangers of fracking, the process used to extract gas from the earth by injecting fluid into shale rocks to release the natural gas inside.

The demonstrators also wanted to show solidarity with the Mi’kmaq protesters in Rexton, N.B., where tensions exploded three weeks ago after the RCMP tried to dismantle a blockade set up by protesters.

The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne posted a note to its Facebook page on Nov. 6 saying its members had met with the group of protesters prior to the march and they confirmed bridge traffic wouldn’t be disrupted.

The council said in the note that the group vowed instead to undertake an educational campaign and pass out leaflets during the demonstration. However, the protest veered onto the bridge, forcing local police to close it.

According to Cornwall police, the bridge has since re-opened and traffic is flowing freely.

No arrests have been reported so far. Akwesasne police were unavailable to comment.

Akwesasne straddles the border between Quebec, Ontario and New York.

 

Amnesty International and others express concern over NB response to anti-fracking protests

SOURCE: http://www.amnesty.ca/news/coalition-letters/open-letter-concerning-anti-fracking-protests-at-the-elsipogtog-mi%E2%80%99kmaq-natio

Open Letter concerning anti-fracking protests at the Elsipogtog Mi’kmaq Nation

David Alward, Premier of New Brunswick
Centennial Building
P.O. Box 6000
Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1

Dear Premier Alward:

Our organizations are deeply concerned by the Province of New Brunswick’s response to anti-fracking protests at the Elsipogtog Mi’kmaq Nation. We are appreciative of the efforts of all involved to allow a cooling off period following the violence of October 17. However, it is our view that this clash could have been avoided had the province acted in a manner consistent with its obligations to respect the human rights of Indigenous peoples under Canadian and international law. Furthermore, we are concerned that unless the province adopts an approach consistent with these obligations, further clashes may occur.

In 2007, an Ontario public inquiry into police and government response to Aboriginal protest – the Ipperwash Inquiry – concluded that blockades and occupations are “symptoms” of the long-standing failure of governments in Canada to resolve land and resource disputes in a fair, timely and effective manner. In the Inquiry report, Justice Sidney Linden wrote that blockades and occupations “occur when members of an Aboriginal community believe that governments are not respecting their treaty or Aboriginal rights, and that effective redress through political or legal means is not available.” Justice Linden called for a redoubling of efforts “to build successful, peaceful relations with Aboriginal peoples…so that we can all live together peacefully and productively.”

In this spirit, our organizations highlight four areas where we believe the province of New Brunswick can do more to rebuild just relations with Indigenous Peoples in relation to resource development and the potential for disputes.

First, it is critical to acknowledge that Indigenous Peoples have rights to their lands, territories and resources that predate the creation of the Canadian state. These pre-existing rights are affirmed in the Peace and Friendship Treaties, in the Royal Proclamation of 1763, and in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, as well as in authoritative international human rights instruments including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Canada’s failure to protect these rights has been repeatedly condemned by international human rights bodies, including the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which found that the comprehensive claims processes fall below international standards of justice. Your government can make a meaningful contribution by communicating clearly that these rights exist and must be respected.

Second, the inherent land rights of Aboriginal peoples cannot be ignored in the day-to-day operations of the government. Doing so is both discriminatory and contrary to the rule of law. Canadian courts have set out a mandatory constitutional duty to consult with Indigenous peoples with the goal of identifying and substantially accommodating their concerns, before any decisions are made that could affect these rights. For such consultation to be meaningful, Indigenous peoples’ knowledge and perspective must be part of the determination of whether or not a particular proposal could have a harmful impact on their rights and use of the land. Furthermore, the duty of consultation and accommodation, and the inter-related obligation for governments to deal honourably with Aboriginal peoples, cannot be met if there is a predetermination that projects will go ahead regardless of legitimate concerns raised by the affected communities. Accordingly, our organizations urge your government to retract statements indicating that the province is already committed to shale gas development, regardless of opposition.

Third, whenever a proposed project has the potential for impacts on the cultures, livelihoods, health and well-being of Indigenous peoples, or where questions remain about the extent of the possible impacts, a very high standard of precaution is required to ensure that no further harm is inflicted on Indigenous peoples. Canadian courts have said that the “full consent” of Aboriginal peoples may be required on “very serious” matters. International human rights instruments, and the jurisprudence of international human rights bodies, clearly establish a duty to obtain the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) of Indigenous peoples as a precautionary measure or heightened safeguard for their rights. In fact, just days before violence erupted over the shale oil explorations in New Brunswick, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples reminded governments in Canada that FPIC is generally required whenever large scale resource development projects are being considered that could impact the rights of Indigenous peoples. Our organizations call on New Brunswick to acknowledge that shale gas exploration and development on or near the traditional lands of Indigenous peoples is clearly an example where the safeguard of free, prior and informed consent is appropriate and necessary.

Finally, our organizations highlight the need to ensure appropriate police response in the unresolved conflicts over Indigenous lands rights. In all instances, police have a clear responsibility to respect and protect human rights. While police have an obligation to protect public safety and respond to criminal offences, police must also act to respect the right of peaceful protest and assembly and act to protect the lives and safety of those involved in protests. Use of force must always be a last resort and the scale and nature of the force deployed must be in proportion to the need to protect public safety. In the Ipperwash Inquiry report, Justice Linden called on Ontario to adopt a province-wide peacekeeping policy based on these principles to ensure that police response to Aboriginal protest would not be politicized and that risks of violence could be minimized. Our organizations strongly urge all governments in Canada to also publicly endorse and adopt such crucial policies.

Yours sincerely,

Alex Neve, Amnesty International Canada
Contact: cbenjamin@amnesty.ca

Lesley Robertson, Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers)
Contact: jennifer@quakerservice.ca

Ed Bianchi, KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
Contact: ebianchi@kairoscanada.org

Images from #ElsipogtogSolidarity demonstrations around the world

For more, please visit: http://sacredfirenb.com/send-a-message-of-solidarity/solidarity-demonstrations-around-the-world/

We have received hundreds of personal solidarity messages from people around the world!

Thank you to all who have written messages of solidarity to our struggle. Here is a sample of the hundreds of personal messages we have recieved, which have arrived from every province of Canada, most of the states in the USA, England, Scotland, Ireland, Belgium, France,Portugal, Romania, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and beyond!

This does not include all the tens of thousands of people in cities across Turtle Island (North America), South and Central America, Europe and beyond who have staged solidarity demonstrations!

TO SEND A MESSAGE, PLEASE VISIT: http://sacredfirenb.com/send-a-message-of-solidarity/

  • I am with you in thought and spirit. Do not lose hope. Your strength and resilience in these times are exemplary and extremely inspiring. Justice will eventually be made thanks to your actions. Don’t forget: manmade law is limited, but karma is eternal.
    With you in Montreal, Erica.
  • Sending Love and prayers and a great big honor and appreciation for all the defenders of the land. My heart goes out to all the people of Elsipogtog and their friends and supporters. May all your hearts heal, together in spirit and gain strength through making us closer and together as one, in spirit of unity and solidarity, Eva.
  • Dear Friends, We are with you in spirit and solidarity here in the North East of England. I am active in the struggle for our environment and for the future of humanity, in the Green Party and in a wider coalition Frack Free Tyne and Wear. Campaigning like yours against fracking is inspiring and we are getting organised here against extreme energy planned, both Underground Coal Gasification all along our beautiful coastline and Coal Bed Methane extraction onshore. I live with my family on the coast and we will do our utmost to stop the planned horrors of UCG here and keeping in touch with people struggling like yourselves is part of what keeps us all going. Thank you for your courage. Yours, Shirley.
  • Brothers and Sisters, though we are many miles away. We stand shoulder to shoulder with you, in the fight against those that would destroy our lands for the sake of greed. David.www.frackfreesouthyorkshire.co.uk
  • I live in Los Angeles, a scant 3 miles from the Baldwin Hills oil fields where they are now fracking.  As a point of reference we sit on the San Andreas fault line which was responsible for the 1971 Sylmar earthquake killing 65, the 1994 Northridge earthquake killing 72,  San Francisco quake killing 63.  Our governor Jerry Brown has  signed legislation which will essential open /allow fracking along this fault in the largest shale fields in N. America known as Monterey Shale.  Fracking is nothing more than state sanctioned murder. Our water is undrinkable, our air thick with pollutants our residents dying from “unknown” points of contamination. Protest long and loud. Viola.
  • With you in spirit, sending strength and love from Balcombe, UK. Sara.
  • Keep up the peaceful protest and stand!! Thanks in the name of our common Mother Earth, sisters and Brothers of all origin and species.
    You have many withe-faced brothers supporting your battle and fighting similar ones in our area.
    Merci et continuez! Christian.
  • My heart and my prayers go out to all of you. I heard a local vicar say that to stand up for what you believe for all of us, to save our planet for generations to come, is the ultimate most profound act that any one person can do for another. I thank you with all my heart and soul. I do what I can here in England by writing millions of letters to raise awareness, but I stand with you in spirit. Julia.
  • Thank-you for standing your ground, defending the planet and encouraging the rest of us to do the same. I am with you in spirit and I applaud your courage and tenacity!!! In solidarity, Karen.
  • Hi, my name is tasha, i am 19 years old. i live in the uk. your story inspires me and we must fight for our mother nature!! please stay strong and beautiful in the knowledge that change is coming, the young people like me see it coming and we fight for our mother nature, for everyones mother x blessings x.
  • Solidarity with your struggle. Love and best wishes from Belgium! Geraldine.
  • You stand on the front lines of a war that must be won. I honour your courage and determination.
    Thank you. Catherine.
  • Our love and thoughts are with you. We wish you every success in your battle against the profiteering corporations wanting to poison your land. Lynda.
  • Sending support, blessings, healing and solidarity to the warriros against fracking – of all tribes, of all nations.  Together we stand as one.  From Somerset, UK. Louise.
  • I support the Elsipogtog and Mi’kmaq First Nations 100% in their historic fight against the calamitous destruction of the planet in their territories. The tar fields of Canada shame the nation and make it one of the dirtiest on the planet, but the people defending the land are heroes and heroines in the eyes of the world. Fight on you brave and honourable souls. Janet.
  • From Warwickshire in the UK I wish to send my support to the First Nations people and the fight against fracking on their lands. It is disgusting to see RCMP oppressing in the way they are, to see ‘police’ dressed in military fatigues with large rifles and scopes. More power to the First Nations !!! Gareth.
  • As it gets colder, please be warmed by the knowledge that your fight against fracking is resounding throughout the world. Am sending out messages through the Occupy social networks created and see the solidarity. Tricia.
  • I am appalled to see what the authorities think is appropriate action in the face of dissension. I will continue to pray and sing for your cause. We are approaching our time when the ancestors are close. I am sure they will do what they can to stop this global madness. Maryam. Here is something which has come out of the fight over here in the UK. It is sung to the hymn Jerusalem it was in “Chariots of fire” the film. I hope you enjoy it.

    And did they frack in ancient times?

    Poisoning waters; once so clean?
    And were their fil-thy rigs of doom
    On England’s plea-sant-pastures seen?
    And did the On-ly face of Truth
    Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
    And do the frackers know time is up
    To use their dark sa-tanic drills.
    Come join us here and sing your song:
    Sing of the justice you desire.
    Assist us NOW!  These frackers are wrong.
    We now remember:  We’re the Choir.
    We will not cease from camp-ing here,
    Nor shall we rest till fracking’s banned.
    Till we have kicked these frackers out
    Of England’s green-and pleasant land.
    5th August 2013 ©Simon Welsh Poetry
  • We are watching what is happening in Canada from here in the U.K. We stand as one in solidarity with you sending love and respect for you wishing you all the strength needed in you fight .  you are true warriors. Love and peace to you all. Diane.
  • Here in the UK we are watching what is happening in Canada and we have nothing but respect, love and admiration for you. Your incredible strength and bravery is an inspiration to us all. You are all true warriors for the Mother. Solidarity. Ellie.
  • Thank you for standing up and standing strong to protect the water.  I can’t believe that people are willing to sacrifice fresh water to extract a chemical which is so harmful and will only increase climate change.  You are a shining example to the rest of Canada.  I hope we can be as strong against fracking in Northern BC and protect the sacred head waters there. Lynn.
  • Resisting southwestern energy is vital. Your courage reflects everywhere, in all facets of the dream of the earth… empowerment, love, art, forests, the creation of a global community. The actions you take for good create a fiery  impact in the world of spirit. Thank you. THANK YOU! It’s amazing to see. Keep using your consciousness for good, fighting evil. THANK YOU! My thoughts are with you. Migwetch. Louis.
  • well done, respect, this is our planet not the corporations,massive hugs and good luck from ireland, Tony.
  • Keep on going everyone.  Don’t let this short-sighted government pummel your voice out of you.  There are many who are behind you.  Keep speaking up for what YOU think is right.  We have to win this one.  Hopefully in the very near future there will finally be Justice for the First Nations People of Canada and all of the rest of the Canadians who do not agree with this current blind and careless government. Justis.
  • Please know that many of us here on the West Coast are thinking of and Praying for all of you … your Stand is Our Stand!!!  Provocateurs and militant or racist types will not prevail, Peace, Respect and Solidarity for our Mother Earth will!  Everything you are doing/have done is noticed … I hope you can feel our loving support all the way from Cowichan Territories on Vancouver Island.  So much Love and Warmest Blessings.  All My Relations xxooxxoo. Bearspirit.
  • I stand with you from Montreal, Quebec. I am ashamed to admit that before April 2013, I had no idea about this nation’s TRUE history and the totally unacceptable way the oil/gas industry is greedily extracting natural resources from Native lands. Although I am in no way an expert on these issues, please know that I try to make people aware of the truth and your ongoing plight at every opportunity. Slowly but surely, more and more people are waking up… the wave is indeed building, albeit not nearly fast enough if you ask me. I thank you for your courage and wisdom, and I apologize from the depths of my heart for all the suffering First Nations people throughout Canada have endured since European contact. Martina.
  • Keep up the good work and most of all THANK YOU for your time, energy, bravery and acts of kindness to Mother Earth– bless every one of you! Samantha.
  • Your courage is electrifying and inspiring!  Justice is on your side!  Your ancestors watching form the spirit world must sing with pride! Truth is everything. Remember – all truth goes through 3 stages.  First, it is ridiculed.  Second, it is violently opposed.  Third, it is finally accepted as being self-evident. I hope to be with you soon. Dennis
  • It saddens (and angers) me so much when I hear reports of racist messages towards anyone, but especially against First Nations people.  I don’t hear these messages first hand because none of the people I spend time with feel that way. Please know that there are many many people who honour you and have immense respect for what you have done in this action and great compassion for what you have endured under the ongoing colonial  agenda that our official governments have imposed on your people. Unfortunately, the cowards and nasty people who soil public discourse with their garbage seem to be getting a disproportionately large amount of attention.  I don’t have any statistical information that says they are actually in the minority of the total population, but I suspect  that part of the reason their garbage is promoted by te corporate media is that it furthers their greedy and stupid agenda.  Don’t any of these people have children and grandchildren they love? Are they all completely brain dead? It’s hard to fathom their short-sightedness and stupidity. I urge you to protect yourselves from their ignorance  and venom. I and everyone I know, including my conservative relatives, understand that you are fighting for all people and our animal friends–all of us, and that you are doing an amazingly wonderful job of it.  Your kindness , self control and clarity are a lesson to all us settler activists to follow your example […] Again, my heartfelt thanks for all you have done, and may your successes be multiplied and continue to inspire us all.  I’m a senior, living on a small pension, so I’m only able to make small contributions of money, but I’m doing everything else I’m able to  try and turn the emergency that we’re all in around and to talk about the amazing work the various First Nations groups are doing.  Many blessings.  Kind regards, west coast Salish territory, settler ally. Susan.
  • Keep strong my brothers and sisters, my heart and spirit go out to all peoples fighting for mother earth. No government nor corporation can take what is not theirs without a fight! Shannon.
  • Thank you for your courage and inspiration.  Peoples from all directions are waking up to Mother Earth’s life force which connects us to and with everything. I am an ally from the west coast … and am Idle No More! Bruce.
  • Here in Miramichi, there are many of us behind you – petitioning our government, writing letters to the editor, spreading the world on facebook and engaging in dialogue with our friends and neighbours re: the truth about shale gas development. It is time to draw a line, for future generations and all our relations. Elizabeth and Glen.
  • I just want you to know, my heart beats with yours as you stand your ground against fracking.  I am talking, posting, and hopefully spreading awareness that the people of Canada need to see through the media blitz against you, as you are protecting the future of humanity.  My message to you is THANK YOU. Deb.
  • I am a professor in the School of Business at Queen’s University in Kingston ON. You are an inspiration for me and my students, and we are following your courageous stand in our sustainability class. I am also sending out information to my personal mailing list of friends and former students. I wish I could be there with you to help in your struggle for respect and protection of the natural systems that give us life. We will win this struggle but we need people like you to give us hope along the way. Stephen.
  • I live in B.C. and so have to send my congratulations and thanks for standing up for the rest of the people of this country (ies).  My turn to man the barricades will come if the colonizers try to push northern gateway through. I realize we in B.C. also have a fracking problem that needs to be addressed. Wonderful news the courts have made it easier for you to defend your land! I have to ask myself why is it that the First Nations peoples  are leading this fight and why the rest off us aren’t being of more help? Outreach might bring more people together. Brad.
  • Tanshay – Greetings – I am so proud of all the strong people who are standing up in a good way, in a peaceful way, to stop the destruction of the land and the water. Marsee everyone. Artemis.
  • Thank you all for your courage in standing up for what you so firmly believe in. Unfortunately, this is a way of life for you! I’m in my 80’s but I would wish to stand with you if it were possible. God’s blessings on your people. Fran.
  • Much love from Northern Ontario. Araelia.
  • I am and always have been a support of native rights, your fight has been long and arduous. What you are fighting for now is for all Canadians, it is important to remember that not all whites are against you and that many empathize with your dilemma.  This last outrage by the RCMP has tipped many over onto your side. Now if we can only get the Canadian Government to realize that it has picked a fight with its own people …then we will win… Thanks for doing this for all of us!! Larry.
  • Thank you for your courage; please continue to fight for the protection of our water resources against our government’s reckless resource extraction policies and their corporate sponsors. Know that many here in Ontario support you. Al.
  • Sending support and love from Inuvik, NT!! Your strength and tenacity touch us all as you continue to stand up for Mother Earth and the sacred gifts she gives us. Miigwetch, Mahsi Cho, Wela’lin. Jennifer.
  • Keep up the good work in fighting the machine! Magee.
  • I deeply respect you and feel you. I hope you succeed! Jurji.
  • Stand strong… sending all sorts of encouragement from down here in Connecticut… Ally and friend… always. Michelle
  • From Covington, Kentucky in USA (traditional Shawnee and Miami territory), my mom and I have been sending up prayers for the people in New Brunswick and all Mi’kmaq. We support you here and are spreading the word. Thank you for all that you do: what affects you, affects us and we are proud to hear of your stories. Special thanks from me to Chief Sock and Amy Sock for showing encouraging leadership; and to the Mi’kmaq Warrior society, including treaty scholar Suzanne Patles, Tyson Peters, Gen. Pictou, and Seven Bernard. Also thanks to the women and grandmothers who take the lead and keep the peace, including Willi Nolan, Loraine Clair, Eliza Knockwood, and so many others. And thank you to the youth – including Bonar Law Students- who stand their ground, set a good example, and smile while doing so. And to all the acadian and anglophone warriors and allies such as Greg Cook, who stand their ground in peace and friendship with treaty Mi’kmaq. And a big thanks to Miles Howe for covering the struggle from the beginning. I am happy to see such harmony – you WILL be victorious. Allies in solidarity, Manuel, mom, and pups.
  • Thank you, Elsipogtog peoples, Acadians and others committed to this peaceful resistance to fracking activities in Kent County! I applaud your courage and committment. Much of the U.S. is already being ruined by fracking; the Tar Sands are a criminal enterprise, supported by an unethical Prime Minister; fracking needs to be opposed wherever it is proposed. Stop the corporate pillaging and rape of our beautiful country!! Stop the colonialist crimes against all Indigenous peoples!!
  • Thank You please dont stop fighting I have seen first hand what fracking does in Northren B.C. (fort st john) Fracking needs to stop we are killing ourselves to make others rich. Your fight needs to get bigger NO MORE FRACKING IN CANADA. We need to make a stand together as one. Michael.
  • Message of solidarity: Sending you lots of love from New Zealand, keep up the good work, we are with you in thought and spirit. TJ.
  • I appreciate all that you are doing. I am not Native but wanted you to know that you are not alone in the battle to save our planet, our Sacred Mother from the voracious greed that has poisoned the thoughts, words and deeds of our Canadian Government. Only the bravest, the most soul truthful people could stand up to all those guns, batons and pepper spray. When I was a child I used to think of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as the epitome of Canadian stewardship keeping us all safe from unknown evil. Now as an adult I see them as thugs, relishing in their cowardice as they break the bodies of brave Native warriors both men and women. But no matter how bruised and bleeding one becomes in the face of tyranny, our Sacred Mother Earth knows who held out their hand to save her from harm. She will not forget and she will call on others for help. Tim.
  • Hello sisters and brothers,  i want you to know that you are not alone.  Many peolpe who are not in New Brunswick are standing with you in solidarity from other cities and provinces across the country.  i wish that government and corporations would place a higher value on human rights and human life.  With the utmost repect for your struggle, i  wish you a safe journey while you try to teach government and corporations that they can not just take, take, take.   This is not their land to take.  They must respect treaties and agreements and leave the land to breath and grow rather than destroy everything in their path for profit/capital gain.  Why do the power houses believe the only way to live on this planet is to strip the earth for profit?  Humans are intelligent, why can’t we learn to be more human??  This aggression towards people only promotes bullying.  Is this how our government wants to be remembered when this is all said and done.  Isn’t ot “US” the people, who have hired the government to work for us.  Are “WE” paying for their salaries? Therefore they must be our employees.  Then it is time that they listen to their employers..”US” the people.  Otherwise we can always hire new staff at the next elections.  In Solidarity, Janet.
  • Greetings and solidarity with you all brothers and sisters I support you from England in your fight for all of us and the sacred waters and earth given in sacred trust to all mankind against the greed and ignorance of corporate powers and corrupted government agencies.  Here in England we too are fighting the misguided  Fracking policies of international corporations driven by greed for monetary profit at the cost of our nations water supplies and health of our nation and its future generations.  On behalf of many here in the UK we salute your bravery , clarity of vision and commitment to win this fight for the sacred sources of life here on mother earth against the forces of greed, ignorance and oppression. May the spirit of life be with you brothers and sisters and may we triumph in our battle to save our earth home from destruction. Peter.
  • I fully stand with you in your struggles to protect your land and water from those that will desecrate it by fracking. I have watched intently what has been happening and the abuse many of you have suffered at the hands of the RCMP. I have shared your story with my extensive network of friends around the world and will continue to do so. It is brave people like you that are the last line of resistance protect Mother Earh from those that would do anything for a profit. You are not alone. Stand strong and in the knowledge that there are many thousands that stand with you! Steve.
  • Some of you are friends of mine. Some of you are people I have made my family for the last dozen or so years. I lived in New Brunswick, both in Moncton and in Fredericton, from July of 2000 until just this past June. I have passed on your message of peaceful protest, supported your cause, and have been to a few organized events in the last three years, and particularly this past weekend. Your message is beautiful, and an inspiration to me. I am undeniably white. I grew up privileged and ignorant of the issues of First Nations. My adult experiences with First Nations were the opposite of everything I was taught as a child. I have found friendship, understanding, support and community in your welcoming society. I have recently decided to go back to school and am studying US history in Seattle. The past few weeks, months and years have done little else but inspire me to, perhaps, take my studies further and focus on Aboriginal/First Nations history. You have my complete and utter support. I will devote my life to your message, and hope my advocacy and my offer of friendship can go a little in your long way toward promoting peace and a way to support life on this continent and in the world. I hope someday to come back to the East Coast and work directly with communities, to promote solidarity, community and education about First Nations, with First Nations and to move forward without racial borders. Your message is now my message and I offer you any support I can give. Keep up the good fight, for you are fighting for us all. Amanda.
  • Thank you for standing up for future generations and protecting our water……everywhere! Your stand has generated international news and the people of the globe will one day stand all together thanks to you!! Tami.
  • I just want to thank everyone that has been apart of this stand off. You are brave, proud and true to your lands. Our Canada is beautiful and full of natural wonder. There is no want for monetary greed destroying our earth, our country and our lands! Canada is priceless and cannot be bought! It is our home, your home. Thank you so very much for having the strength to make the world see that we the Canadian people will not back down. The first nations, aboriginals, Mi’kmaq or what you personally would like to be refereed too  as are warriors. Canada’s firs defense to keep our country pure. I can’t thank you enough. I really can’t. My heart bleeds for all of you and your ability to head this effort.  You are so fearless and I love you all for it. Jessica.
  • My thanks and praise to all of you who are courageously defending the land and water against the destructive profiteers and their government lackeys. Brian.
  • Thank you for fighting the good fight. My thoughts and prayers are with you, thank you for your perseverance and courage. Holly.
  • From Nogojiwanong ( Peterborough ontario ) we stand with you. The whole world is watching. You are not alone. When I was 5 years old, I was at OKA with my mother. My mother and I are with you in spirit. Standing beside you. We are all signing petitions, phoning our mp’s. If you have the time, please email me to let us know what we can do to help. Spreading awareness and information to the public on this situation. Divided no more, Idle No More. your sister in solidarity. Sally.
  • My heart goes out to all of you involved in this struggle as you fight for human and environmental rights. Sadly, your protest could be the first of many worldwide as you walk the path of righteousness: if the corporate powers, allied with the state, can continue to sully our water for profit then it is the beginning of the end for all notions of democracy in the west. You fight for the well-being of a future generation in a time when the well-being of the planet is compromised. You are the voice of humanity and reason, a beacon that shines light on an inhumane government that must be overhauled. I am young, i am 24 years old this week. I often wonder if i will ever have grandchildren, let alone children. When i think of these things, i get scared for  i believe they will only inherit disaster. We have less than 10 years for a concerted, pan-human effort at a U-turn in environmental and economic policies worldwide – if we plan on another 10. The powers you fight are not human – they are machines, corporate machines without a human face. They have no empathy, no compassion, no morals, and ultimately no sense. When they fight, they will come hard and swift as you have seen – once again, my sympathies for your trials. If they don’t prevail, they will come covertly and secretly through sabotage. Resistance will prevail in time, and know that the youth of the world are your allies whether they know it or not. The entire structure of enterprise in this new millennium is obsolete and incompatible with our modern threat. I digress, but point being there is a line in the sand – those who are for humanity, and those who are for private interests – there is no middle ground. Know this – the people of the world are coming round. They are angry and frustrated, but with that  they are also enlightened, inspired, and connected through technology and the internet. This is one of the most exciting times in history for the fact that a local struggle can draw international attention in seconds. Please remember this one thing: in the darkest moments of your struggle try and remember that you have an army of thousands by your side, perhaps not in body but in spirit. To quote Eisenhower, ‘the eyes of the world are upon you’, and let the record show that you have already thwarted a common threat. Blessings and peace to all of you and thank you for protecting our children. Lennox.
  • Hello! I’m from the other side of the atlantic but I do ressonate with your fight. I believe that you are the warriors that we all should be. I send you my solidarity and my best wishes that your struggle is short and effective. Joao, from Portugal, whith love.
  • I pray you receive a thousand drums and warriors to stand strong with you all!  I wish me and my husband could be there with you all.  We are unable to because he is in hospital.  Our Love and Prayers are with you all, and we are there with you in spirit.  May the eagles fly high and the thunder of prayers flow with you as the spirits of our ancestors hold you all as you stand your ground! Tracy.
  • Bless and thank you all.  You are protecting everyone, and I hope that you stay strong and stay safe.
    With love and solidarity from Toronto, Vivia.
  • I thank you for the hard work you are doing on behalf of my family.  Stay peaceful.  Stay strong. Our prayers are with you. Merci beaucoup. André
  • As a proud member of the Metis Nation, we support the Mi’kmaq and supporters in this difficult time, We too were attacted by a Conservative P M John A MacDonald in 1885, we have not forgotten, we will help in any way we can . Keep up the good work apposing Fracking and opposing the Dictator S Harper the self assumed P M of Kanata. Richard.
  • Thank you for protecting the water and the earth.  Sending my support.  Sending live love.  S.Irene
  • I stand in solidarity… Be strong, our convictions for protecting Mother Earth will be just… Brendan.
  • Tansi.. Brothers and Sisters..I am writing to you to express my thanks and admiration for you all and all you have done there ..In edmonton we have had 3 solidarity demonstrations in 3 days…one at RCMP sec K headquarters ..a 16 block friday rush hour busy streets downtown  traffic .march ending with prayers and a round dance at RCMP hq.. and another 16 block march around the police station, court ,federal buildings and the city square..a smudging and tobacco ceremony was held Today as well…I wanted you to know that for those 5-600 people that came out your safety and health are of great concern to us and your continued well-being is on our minds and in our hearts..thank you all again , stay safe.. be careful be brave and be assured you are not alone or forgotten for a moment…may the Cfreator continue to guide and bless you all….MASII CHO ,,,,,All My Relations. John.
  • My eternal gratitude to you for representing the interests of our earth and descendants. On thursday morning I was ashamed of my government more than ever, but the brave spirit of the elders and women and peaceful protesters give me hope. I greatly share your concerns, and values. More and more people are waking up, and they have you to thank. Because of your persistence in defending your own territory, Enough people got the real story to cause protest worldwide, in solidarity, and in protection of the earth. But still you must continue to defend your home, and to me that is a travesty.  Violations of rights, sacred and human, have beeen observed. There is more hope tomorrow than ever before. My sincerest thanks, for defending what really matters. Adam.,
  • you are not alone , keep up the protests (non violent) it is time for the environment to come first am spreading the word here. stay strong, stay safe . you have my support. bless you. Maggie.
  • I am currently lecturing in a course at McGill University in which environmental student groups research Fracking.  Your heroic work makes my explanation of the dangers and anti-democratic reality of this practice starkly clear.  We follow your inspiring efforts closely, thank you from your many thousands of supporters here in Quebec. Holly.
  • To the brave protesters and warriors at the sacred fire, I wish I could be there in person to look you in the eyes and thank you. I have not been able to come because of my duties as a mother, student and worker, but I am there with you in spirit. Thank you so much for your bravery and what you are doing to protect the water and to stand up against an oppressive colonial government. For what it is worth, as a white settler who hopes to be a decent ally, I am sorry for the  injustices, past and present, done to the indigenous peoples, and to the earth. I am doing my best to become educated about the true stories of Turtle Island. Not the foolishness I was taught in schools. Not the lies on tv. The true stories. I support, and am grateful for what you are doing, standing up for the water, and for your rights as a people, and for us settlers too. Emily.
  • I for one, support your endeavour to bring some sanity to this free-for-all for fracked ‘oil’, with no concern for the people who live in the area to be fracked or the people as yet unborn, that is going on all over the continent. And the message to drink bottled water when your own water is contaminated doesn’t fly, because what is everyone going to do when most of our aquifers are contaminated? Stay strong! Joanne.
  • I am disgusted by the actions of the province and the RCMP and fully support your peaceful protests. I cannot be there with you physically but I am with you in spirit. I will be following these events closely and will be pressuring political leaders to abandon their reckless pursuit of gas at any cost. Remember, the Ontario government recently spent one billion dollars to stop a natural gas plant in Oakville because rich, white citizens were against it. Anything is possible! Wendy.
  • Right now is the same situation in Romania. The government security forces and private contractors fight against the people who tried to protect their lives endangered by fracking activities (United States firm – Chevron). You are not alone. The struggle is in the same time all over the world. But the Sacred Fire is with her children and we will overcome THIS TERRIBLE SITUATION. Serban.
  • You are not alone in your struggle, here on west coast of BC we are with you…Stay strong, know that you are not alone…we all breathe the same air!  Feet on ground, head held high keep your eyes on the horizon. Susanna.
  • The news of this injustice is spreading. I will teach my students about it. Please don’t give up. Anthony.
  • Mi’kmaq Nation are standing in Solidarity to protect our land & water not jus for ourselves but for future generations to come. Please support our brothers & sisters who are on the front lines and having to deal with their bullying tactics!!! Charlotte.
  • In Solidarity with you from Texas. The greedy oil and gas companies will continue to pollute our water and land if we don’t stand strong. We’re all in this together! If Canada’s water gets polluted so does the USA’s. Thanks for standing strong at the Sacred Fire. Keep it burning! Tia.

Anonymous (Hacktivists): OpFrackOff in Elsipogtog

The international Hacktivists group Anonymous has released a statement regarding their solidarity with the struggle against fracking/shale gas in Elsipogtog.  They are committed to tracking and revealing the relationship between Texas-based SWN Resources (the company trying to frack in Kent County NB) and the Irving Corporation.

To watch their media release, go here: https://vimeo.com/77409237

From the #OpFrackOff paste-bin (http://pastebin.com/Vsjb1GuC)

Greetings to our courageous Mi’maq friends who have stood valiantly against the forces of frack.
To the forces of fracking in New Brunswick and beyond, you didn’t expect us, did you?
On Friday, Anonymous put out an #OpFrackOff press release denouncing and seeking to identify the RCMP officer responsible for saying “crown land belongs to the government not to fucking natives.” This comment was first reported on Thursday at 12:27 pm Atlantic time by APTN camerman Ossie Michelin. It has been confirmed to Anonymous by two sources. One source provided a picture of the officers from which the comment came. The picture’s time stamp is at 12:29 pm Atlantic.
An independent anonymous source was able to give a more complete description of the officer. The second source’s description nicely fit the man on the far right of the picture: black hat and glasses. That source also passed us a second, later picture that they believe to be the same officer.
It appears to Anonymous as if none of the camo and black clad paramilitary officers were wearing any identifying information.
This is unacceptable.
The attire of the officer in question suggests that he is with one of the RCMP’s Emergency Response Teams. In New Brunswick, this would be the J-Team. Why is Canada attacking it’s First Nations population with a self-described paramilitary force? To protect the right of a Texas oil company’s fracking ambitions?  And what do Wendy’s french fries have to do with fracking?
Wait, Wendy’s French fries?
Cavendish Farms is the top French fry supplier for Wendy’s in North America.
Who the frack is Cavendish?
Cavendish Farms is owned by the Irving family, the oil and gas and media magnates that control nearly everything in New Brunswick. Halifax Media Co-op has already reported that SWN, the Texas oil company that owns most of the fracking rights in New Brunswick, is working hand in glove with the Irving’s in Elsipogtog.
Independent journalists with #OpSWN are working to lay out all the relationships between SWN Resource Canada, the company wanting to frack on traditional, never ceded Mi’maq territory, and a variety of other resource extraction companies in Canada, including Irving Oil.
These relationships include media, money, and political connections. Anonymous continues to demand that the officer who racially slurred our Mi’maq friends be identified and disciplined.
And that the RCMP apologize for it’s racist violence.
It is almost unbelievable that an officer could spell out so clearly the problem that has been at the heart of the relationship between Canada and its First Nations from the very beginning. This is the colonial attitude and it’s violent tendencies in a perfect nutshell.
If anyone has video or audio recording of this event, please release it to the public as soon as possible.
Anonymous also requests that the public help the independent journalists mapping information via Pearltree regarding the collusion that exists in the Canadian Atlantic between media, politicians, and oil and gas companies.  Follow #OpSWN on twitter for details.
Help us demand that the courage of Elsipogtog in standing up to a paramilitary force not be wasted.
Premier Alward has dismissed calls for a referendum on fracking, saying that one isn’t needed.
Anonymous disagrees.
The people demand a direct say over whether or not their water is poisoned.  Anonymous calls for a referendum on fracking exploration to determine the will of the people. Until that time, Mr. Alward, put your paramilitary thugs back on desk duty.
We are Anonymous.
The Corrupt Fear Us.
The Honest Support Us.
The Heroic Join Us.

From the #OpSWN paste-bin (http://pastebin.com/jSdhre1m):

Welcome to #OpSWN!
This project was conceived to help us all collaboratively map the relationships and finance/behavior patterns between the corporate and government players determining the quality of our environment, and of our lives. As @GeorgieBC points out so eloquently in this http://georgiebc.wordpress.com/2013/10/21/good-bye-wikipedia-hello-something-else/ article, we have grown past the need to have our data interpreted and spoon fed to us by the very corporations and politicians who have a vested interest in manipulating our perception of reality. From the article above link above:
“To be a stigmergical project instead of a cooperative one, each contributor must be free to work according to their own ideas and the power of the user group must be limited to acceptance or rejection of the final project for their own use only. This is simple in a structure like pearltrees where everyone creates their own pearls or pearltrees and others link to them or not as they see fit. It is simple in an RSS or Twitter feed where anyone can create their own list of voices to follow. It is impossible in Wikipedia.”
It’s time to own our knowledge and ability to share what is important to US with one another. We’ve found Pearltrees to be a wonderful collaboration tool, and are hoping you will like working with it as well. At the end of this outline you will find some FAQ’s from the Pearltrees website. First we’ll just review why and how Pearls were used to map relationships in support of the Elsipogtog Sovereignty call and fracking resistance.
Canada is as transparent as it’s tar sands discharge
    We have begun to map the corporate players in New Brunswick, but hit a wall on the politicians as there is no public data available for campaign financing, or political financing, in New Brunswick. Their election reporting site says:
        “The Political Process Financing Act requires each registered political party to file semi-annually with the Supervisor a financial return disclosing the sources of political contributions, other revenues, and details as to how those funds were expended. Each registered district association and each registered independent candidate are required to file a similar return annually.”
but there is NO DATA there! Furthermore:
    “Over the course of 2013, Elections New Brunswick will provide the public with the ability to search on-line for the financial returns submitted by the political parties, district associations, candidates and third parties.” http://www1.gnb.ca/elections/finance/financereturns-e.asp
Well, it’s late October of 2013, and the only data posted there is an Excel spreadsheet with a picture of a graph in it showing that 100% of the required 2012 disclosure forms have been received. Okay…then why aren’t they PUBLISHED? It appears that we will have to do that ourselves. We will post a link to the site that tells you who all your “representatives” are, and hope that a local citizen answers our request to obtain and post disclosure documents so we can see (and Pearl) their direct financial relationship to the corporations. For instance, Steven L Mueller, SWN President, Chief Executive Officer, Director has a total annual compensation for 2011 of $6,118,755 http://www.pearltrees.com/#/N-u=1_1284199&N-p=92826247&N-s=1_9552981&N-f=1_9552981&N-fa=9552976. Who did he buy in the US election? (http://www.pearltrees.com/#/N-s=1_9552981&N-u=1_1284199&N-p=93146817&N-f=1_9552981&N-play=2&N-fa=9552976)
Reality TV stars are not more interesting than the Ruling Elite
In addition to this factual, financial information about those who rule, we need gossip! That’s right…I said it…good old-fashioned gossip! Because it is a bit interesting when André Desmarais, son of Paul Desmarais (worth 4.5 billion or so), marries former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien’s daughter, France. Where did all their new furniture come from – a tax write off? What Board of Directors do they and their friends sit on? What charities do they run and contribute to? These people are the new Ruling Elite, and we should know more about them than we do Justin Beiber, who is irrelevant.
Our goal is to map the relationships among all these people and their business interests – to follow the money. Any intersections found between the corporations, or between them and the politicians, are relevant information if we are to understand whose interests are really being served in our communities. Pearltrees offer us a simple way to document and visualize these relationships.
Most of the relationships among business people will be found in their alliance organizations and councils. We focused on The Atlantica Centre for Energy to map the first level of relationships influencing the #Elsipogtog action. Why? Because it clearly tells us who is making money off this project. At some point we can add examples of the tactics each of these corporations use when doing business – which would tell us which tactics they’re likely to use against an opponent. There is much that can be mapped – your imagination is the only limit. http://www.pearltrees.com/#/N-u=1_1284199&N-p=92972708&N-s=1_9566369&N-f=1_9566121&N-fa=9558533
Pearltrees can accept 3 basic forms of data: URL links to published content, image uploads, and brief notes. It is not a venue to publish new information in, but you can link to your own content. The free version has a limit for how many pearls can be added to any one branch (read the FAQs for more information on the process), so we mapped out the relationships in a collaborative virtual notepad first using Riseup.net – because they are awesome! Support them if you can https://help.riseup.net/en/donate . You can use this as your starting point if you’d like – it shows the information we’d like to see added for the People involved in these organizations, and who needs completion.https://pad.riseup.net/p/OpSWN_People You can use Hack Pad if you’d like to keep your research pad confidential https://hackpad.com/
We utilized URL links to existing data that was vetted to insure quality. Notes for explanations are good only where they can be pasted somewhere to link to, or their content is limited in lengths accepted by Pearl notes. “You can’t put more than 16 pearls in the first ring of a pearltree, you can’t put more than 32 pearls or pearltrees in the second ring or more than 48 pearls or pearltrees in the third ring.” To get started with pearls, see the FAQ’shttp://www.pearltrees.com/s/faq/en Mapping out your data before starting to pearl may seem like a waste of time, but will save frustration in the long term. We gave you a copy of our garbled conversation while getting started with Pearling so you could understand how the information flows. See this pad for unpearled research and background. https://pad.riseup.net/p/OpSWN_ResearchNotPearled
Have FUN! :D Look for us on twitter in the #OpSWN hashtag, and contact @Kaymee and/or @GeorgieBC when you have pearls you’d like added to the original research, or research you’d like US to add to ours. Trick or Treat…Happy Hunting :)