APTN: After court loss, Elsipogtog braces for SWN’s return

SOURCE: http://aptn.ca/news/2013/11/18/court-loss-elsipogtog-braces-swns-return/

After court loss, Elsipogtog braces for SWN’s return

Uncategorized | 18. Nov, 2013 by | 0 Comments

Sockandburkcourt

(Elsipogtog lawyer T.J. Burke (left) stands next to Elsipogtog Chief Aaron Sock. APTN/Photo)

By Jorge Barrera
APTN National News
FREDERICTON–There were tears outside a courtroom in Fredericton Monday after a New Brunswick judge ruled against Elsipogtog First Nation which was seeking an injunction to stop a Houston-based energy company from continuing its controversial shale gas exploration work north of the community.

Weeping supporters hugged Elsipogtog Chief Aaron Sock after Justice Judy Clendening handed down her ruling, effectively clearing the way for SWN Resources Canada to continue the last phase of its shale gas exploration work about 46 kilometres north of the Mi’kmaq community.

“I think we’re still in shock, we’re nervous and scared about what’s going to happen,” said Judie Miksovsky, from the St. Mary’s First Nation Maliseet community near Fredericton.

Elsipogtog was seeking to convince the judge to issue the temporary injunction against SWN arguing the province had failed to consult properly and that a conflict, echoing the heavily armed RCMP raid on Oct. 17, loomed on the horizon.

Clendening, however, found that Elsipogtog failed to adequately make its case.

“In my view and at this stage, and without any real evidence of the irreparable harm that may be occasioned on (Elsipogtog), it is apparent that SWN is suffering monetary losses,” said Clendening. “There is no evidence of the degree of harm to (Elsipogtog) that is related to the Crown’s request to consult.”

Clendening also dismissed Elsipogtog’s argument that a violent conflict loomed on the highway if the company was allowed to continue its work.

“The respondents (SWN, the province) are not inciting this reaction and there is no evidence that the respondents will interfere with a peaceful protest,” said Clendening, in her oral ruling. “The threat of radical elements converging is not a reasonable factor to be considered. SWN needs to complete this phase of the work and there is no evidence that the consultation and accommodation cannot be recommenced between the Crown and (Elsipogtog).”

SWN has faced months of protests and blockades from a persistent opposition of Mi’kmaq people from Elsipogtog and sister communities who are supported by Acadians from surrounding communities. The Mi’kmaq-led opposition fear shale gas exploration will eventually lead to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, threatening the area’s water.

Mi’kmaq-led demonstrators have twice turned back SWN and its contractors on Hwy 11, which is the last area where the company wants to conduct shale gas exploration before winter. They have vowed to stop SWN at all costs and have set up a camp just off the highway.

On Oct. 17, heavily armed RCMP tactical units descended on an anti-fracking camp on another highway called Route 134 which was blocking SWN’s vehicles in a compound owned by JD Irving Ltd. The RCMP arrested 40 people and seized three rifles, ammunition and crude explosive devices in an operation that lead to a day-long clash with Elsipogtog residents. Several RCMP vehicles were also torched in the melee.

Chief Sock said he hoped violence could still be avoided.

“I just hope and pray that it remains peaceful,” said Sock.

Sock said there was little he could do to stop the violence if it flared.

“I am just one man, I can’t really commit to anything,” said Sock.

Elsipogtog has pulled out of the Assembly of First Nations Chiefs of New Brunswick (AFNCNB) over the ongoing controversy surrounding SWN’s exploration work. The AFNCNB was named in the band’s application for the injunction. The band argued that the AFNCNB had failed in its delegated duty to act on behalf of the community in the consultation process.

AFNCNB’s lawyer Kelly Lamrock said the organization did not oppose the injunction. He said the judge’s ruling came with a lesson.

“Take all that opportunity to build evidence and then take your shot in court, because if you are going to take a shot at the government in court, don’t miss,” said Lamrock.

Back in Elsipogtog and at the anti-fracking camp, many waited nervously for the judge’s decision. They know the people will again be out to stop SWN’s machinery on the highway.

“Profits over lives is the rule of law now,” said Brian Milliea. “Our people have been put on crosshairs now.”

And at the campsite, people were preparing for the return of SWN.

“We will still be out there until it stops,” said one of the warriors at the camp.

APTN: RCMP officers arrest Elsipogtog woman as SWN’s thumper trucks return

SOURCE: http://aptn.ca/pages/news/2013/11/14/rcmp-officers-arrest-elsipogtog-woman-swns-thumper-trucks-return/

RCMP officers arrest Elsipogtog woman as SWN’s thumper trucks return

National News | 14. Nov, 2013 by | 0 Comments

RCMP officers arrest Elsipogtog woman as SWN’s thumper trucks return

(Elsipogtog resident Lorraine Clair arrested by RCMP officers Thursday morning. Photo courtesy of Charmaine Sock)

APTN National News
LAKETON, NB--A woman from Elsipogtog First Nation was reportedly arrested Thursday morning as SWN Resources Canada resumed its controversial shale gas exploration north of the community.

RCMP officers reportedly arrested Lorraine Clair, a high-profile Elsipogtog resident who has consistently opposed SWN’s exploration work.

New Brunswick RCMP spokeswoman Const. Jullie Rogers-Marsh confirmed one person was arrested for “causing a disturbance.” Rogers-Marsh said no charges have yet been laid.

“Things are continuing to be peaceful other then the arrest,” said Rogers-Marsh. “We are going to continue to stay in the area and monitor the situation. We are going to continue to ensure public safety.”

SWN’s thumper trucks returned to an area about 46 km north of Elsipogtog. The thumper trucks work with geophones, which were strung along Hwy 11 by SWN Wednesday, to capture images of shale gas deposits underground.

RCMP officers were videotaped loading riot gear earlier in the day in Moncton, NB, which sits about 100 km away from SWN’s current exploration area.

Heavily armed RCMP tactical units raided a Mi’kmaq-led anti-fracking camp on Oct. 17 to free SWN exploration vehicles which were trapped inside a compound owned by JD Irving Ltd.

 

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.

APTN: SWN returning to thump Wednesday: Elsipogtog War Chief

SOURCE: http://aptn.ca/pages/news/2013/11/11/swn-returning-thump-near-elsipogtog-wednesday-war-chief/

APTN National News
ELSIPGOTOG FIRST NATION, NB–SWN Resources Canada is planning to resume its controversial shale gas seismic exploration work on Wednesday, according to Elsipogtog War Chief John Levi

Levi said SWN’s lawyer Michael Connors, who is a partner with East Coast law firm McInnes Cooper, met with several dozen people from Elsipogtog First Nation and the surrounding communities late Sunday afternoon.

Levi said Connors told the people that SWN would withdraw a lawsuit against several community members if the Houston-based firm was allowed to finish its exploration work unimpeded.

“We said no, we are going to be there,” said Levi, in an interview with APTN National News. “What we told him was we are going to be there Wednesday.”

The meeting was held at a longhouse erected at an anti-fracking encampment used over the past summer. The area sits off Hwy 116 near Elsipogtog First Nation.

Connors told the people in the longhouse that SWN would be working for 14 days and warned them not to block the company’s movements or they would face violence.

“I’m not asking anyone not to protest, but I am asking that we don’t do anything that would lead to violence,” said Connors, according to video of the meeting posted on Facebook by Brian Milliea. “Unfortunately, blockades lead to violence.”

Connors said SWN just wants to finish its work and leave the area.

“We don’t want violence and if we can get through two weeks then we will go away for awhile,” said Connors. “I am not saying we are not going to come back, we may not come back, but I think everybody needs some time, you know a break.”

Levi told Connors that the community would not be backing down.

“We are going to be there. Whatever happens, the ball is in your court. Whatever happens, you’re the ones who are going to make the calls,” said Levi, according to the nine minute video. “Us as Natives and the protectors of this land, we are going to protect it, it is our land, we never ceded this land and we are going to protect it before these waters are contaminated.”

A woman in the crowd, who identified as non-Native, also pledged opposition to the exploration.

“As non-Natives we are going to protect the future of our children,” said the woman, in the video. “So non-Natives and Natives are together.”

SWN has faced intense and prolonged opposition to its shale gas exploration work around Elsipogtog First Nation which exploded after heavily armed RCMP tactical units raided an anti-fracking camp along Route 134 on Oct. 17. The camp was blocking several of SWN’s exploration vehicles in a compound owned by JD Irving Ltd. in Rexton, NB.

While the raid freed SWN’s trucks, it sparked day-long clashes between Elsipogtog residents and the RCMP. Several RCMP vehicles were torched and about 40 people were arrested.

A camp still remains on Route 134, which sits about 15 kilometres southeast of Elsipogtog.

SWN was initially expected to resume its exploration work last Monday. Elsipogtog Chief Aaron Sock told reporters last Sunday that SWN’s lawyers had informed him the company was planning to finish its seismic exploration work along Hwy 11.

While community members mobilized to confront the company, the thumper trucks, which are used in the seismic exploration, did not appear.

Levi said Connors told the meeting that the company would be laying out geophones on a section of Hwy 11 on Tuesday and that the thumper trucks would return on Wednesday.

Geophones pick up the vibrations from thumper trucks to create imaging of shale gas deposits.

The exploration area is about 46 kilometres north of Elsipogtog.

People in Elsipogtog and surrounding communities fear the discovery of shale gas would lead to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The controversial extraction method is viewed by many as posing a dire threat to water sources.

“They are pretty desperate for trying to arrange something like that,” said Levi. “We are not taking the bait and we are going to be there protecting mother earth.”

Mi’kmaq Warriors Jailed Before Trial Plead Not Guilty

SOURCE: http://halifax.mediacoop.ca/newsrelease/19678

Mi’kmaq Warriors Jailed Before Trial Plead Not Guilty

Three Mi’kmaq Warriors Plead Not Guilty to Charges Stemming from Oct. 17th Violent Raid by RCMP

by Mi’kmaq Warrior Society

Moncton, NB—Three (3) members of the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society, held in custody since the day of the violent raid by RCMP officers on a peaceful anti-shale gas encampment, plead not guilty in the New Brunswick Provincial Courthouse on Friday Nov 8th.

Aaron Francis, Germaine “Junior” Breau and Coady Stevens have now been held in custody for three weeks, currently at the Southeastern Correctional Centre, with no date for trial set at this time.

Alison Menard, the lawyer who is representing the three Warriors in court says “We would like to see them get their trial dates as quickly as possible, as they have been remanded without a trial.”

The three young men have been refused access to phones and visits, and some have even been assaulted by corrections officers in custody.

“I know these men are not guilty of the charges being laid here by the Crown.” states Annie Clair, who is Junior’s mother and was also present the day of the raid, “They are peaceful men with good hearts. Thanks to everyone who has continued to give us the support we’ve needed.”

The courtroom was packed on Friday with supporters from Elsipogtog, surrounding Mi’kmaq communities, and non-native supporters from Moncton and elsewhere.

Susan Levi-Peters, former Chief of Elsipogtog says, “I am happy they have entered their plea of Not Guilty and I am saddened that they are still locked up for protecting our women and elders who were for fighting for our water and land.”

“Our warriors should be free, not locked up. We are not the savages”, states Susan in reference to RCMP treatment of Mi’kmaq people on the morning of the police raid, where police used sniper teams, and brought in officers from multiple provinces to enforce an injunction on the anti-shale gas encampment.  The former Chief of Elsipogtog goes on to say that the RCMP violated an agreement of Peace and Friendship made with the Mi’kmaq people only hours before, “As the trial begins, we will find out why the RCMP ambushed our people in the early hours of the morning when they had offered tobacco in Peace and Friendship the night before.” -30-

Emergency Advisory: Mi’kmaq say, “We are still here, and SWN will not be allowed to frack.”

SOURCE: http://halifax.mediacoop.ca/newsrelease/19570

Sacred Fire blockade to begin at noon on Nov. 4

Emergency Advisory
For Immediate Release

Mi’kmaq say, “We are still here, and SWN will not be allowed to frack”

What: Sacred Fire blockade in response to SWN development
Where: Highway 11, outside of Laketon, NB
When: Monday, Nov. 4 at 12pm

Media Contact: Amanda Lickers, 705-957-7468

ELSIPOGTOG — The Elsipogtog community and the people of the Mi’kmaq nation are responding to SWN’s stated intention to resume shale gas exploration in New Brunswick. Community members and traditional people will come together to light a Sacred Fire to stop SWN from passing, in order to ensure that the company cannot resume work to extract shale gas via fracking. The Sacred Fire will last a minimum of four days and is supported by the Mi’kmaq people and the community of Elsipogtog. This comes as part of a larger campaign that reunites Indigenous, Acadian & Anglo people.

This is also an act of reclamation, as Mi’kmaq people are using the land in a traditional way, and are exercising their treaty rights, which includes ceremonial practices. The Mi’kmaq people have not been sufficiently consulted over shale gas exploitation and do not support SWN working on their territory.

The Sacred Fire blockade is also supported by the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society and the Highway 134 encampment.

“SWN is violating our treaty rights. We are here to save our water and land, and to protect our animals and people. There will be no fracking at all,” says Louis Jerome, a Mi’kmaq sun dancer. “We are putting a sacred fire here, and it must be respected. We are still here, and we’re not backing down.”

CBC: SWN set to resume shale gas exploration Monday, chief says

SOURCE: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/swn-set-to-resume-shale-gas-exploration-monday-chief-says-1.2325522

SWN set to resume shale gas exploration Monday, chief says

Elsipogtog First Nation Chief Aaron Sock calls on Premier David Alward to impose 6-month moratorium

CBC News Posted: Nov 01, 2013 5:17 PM AT Last Updated: Nov 01, 2013 5:53 PM AT

SWN Resources Canada intends to resume shale gas exploration near Rexton on Monday, just two weeks after a violent clash between RCMP and protesters, says Elsipogtog First Nation Chief Aaron Sock.

The company informed him of its plans, an angry Sock announced during a news conference, held Friday afternoon at the Moncton Casino.

Sock is calling on Premier David Alward to intervene.

He wants a six-month moratorium to allow time for meaningful negotiations, he said.

If the premier does not intervene, Sock could not speculate whether there will be more protests and blockades.

On Oct. 17, an anti-shale gas protest near Rexton turned violent after RCMP moved in to enforce a court injunction obtained by SWN against a blockade.

Six police vehicles were destroyed by fire and 40 people were arrested. Explosive devices, firearms, knives and ammunition were seized.

Sock met with the premier the following day and both sides agreed to a cooling-off period.

On Friday, Sock told reporters he felt deceived. He said Alward had told him he would contact SWN officials about postponing exploration, but it seems that did not happen.

In addition, Sock said no meaningful discussions have taken place since police raided the protesters’ camp on Route 134.

He said although the province has appointed a lawyer to deal with the matter, every time he has contacted the lawyer, the lawyer has claimed to be unaware of what he’s supposed to do.

On Saturday, members of Elsipogtog First Nation plan to begin reclaiming Crown land in Kent County by placing plaques on 50 separate 100-acre lots.

But Serge Rousselle, a professor of aboriginal law at the University of Moncton, contends it will be a symbolic exercise with no legal consequences.

Jailed protesters mistreated, lawyer says

Shale gas protester Jason Augustine says protesters are being treated unfairly by the RCMP. (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC)

Meanwhile, earlier in the day on Friday, at another news conference held on the steps of the Moncton Law Courts, a lawyer representing five of the protesters jailed on Oct. 17 said their rights are being violated.

Alison Menard said four men are still in custody. “It’s been two to three weeks that these people have been detained, and it doesn’t seem like things are necessarily changing for the people who have been in detention,” she said.

Menard contends the arrested protesters have been mistreated while in custody.

“Is it normal for people to be held in segregation while waiting for their first court appearances? Is it normal for them to have access to no programs? Is it normal for them to not even have shampoo and in some cases toilet paper? Is it normal for them to be hit by somebody when they’re being handcuffed?

“I don’t think any of these things are normal,” she said.

“They are presumed innocent and I think regular folks would be very concerned by the way these people, and other people, are treated when they’re in the detention centre.”

Menard is urging citizens to write the provincial ombudsman and ask that the allegations of mistreatment be looked into, saying such actions should concern all New Brunswickers.

Jason Augustine, one of the arrested protesters who has since been granted bail, says he wants ordinary citizens to know how he was treated while detained.

“I was in the hole, we called it the hole, for eight days. I was denied a lot of access there. Each time I said, ‘I want to talk to my lawyer,’ they said, ‘No, you’re not allowed, it’s after hours, you can’t talk to your lawyer.’ With the rights I know, I am obligated to talk to my lawyer … the rights they were denying me of. That was uncalled for,” he said.

SWN is suing the defenders of the water

SWN, the Texas-based fracking company, has filed a civil suit against defenders of the water, seeking damages for “loss of revenue, profit and all expense” and seeking a “permanent injunction” against them.

You can read the statement of claim here: https://sacredfirenb.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/swn-statement-of-claim-oct0313.pdf

SWN is being legally represented in this circumstance by the Saint John lawyer Matthew T. Hayes, who can be contacted at the following coordinates:

http://www.mcinnescooper.com/people/matthew-hayes/

hayesHayesMatt-247x160

As always, we advise respect in all communications.

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.

HMC: Mi’kmaq Warrior bail hearings risks turning into week-long event

SOURCE: http://halifax.mediacoop.ca/story/mikmaq-warrior-bail-hearings-risks-turning-week-lo/19421

Zero down, six to go as first day draws to a close

by Miles Howe

Defence lawyer Gilles Lemieux speaks to a reporter after today's non-bail hearing. [Photo: Miles Howe]
Defence lawyer Gilles Lemieux speaks to a reporter after today’s non-bail hearing. [Photo: Miles Howe]

Moncton, New Brunswick – The Moncton courthouse was again abuzz today as supporters of the six remaining incarcerated members of the Mi’kmaq Warriors Society awaited their bail hearings. Originally, the court was supposed to process the hearings of Coady Stevens, Dave Mazerolle and Jason “Okay” Augustine. However, due to the Crown’s attempts to pile on extra charges on all three men, not even Coady Stevens’ bail hearing was completed.

The defence team of Gilles Lemieux and Alison Menard have requested a press ban on the evidence presented in court today, so details of the charges will have to wait, potentially for the actual trial (if there is one) or beyond. We can say that Stevens is up on six charges, however, and they are as follows: Two counts of threats, two counts of obstruction of justice, one summary assault and one count of unlawful confinement.

The unlawful confinement would be the ‘big one’, as the Crown appears to want to proceed on it as an indictable offence, which carries a maximum sentence of not over ten years. Surprisingly, the unlawful confinement is related to incidents that occurred on or around the 16th of October, not the 17th when the RCMP viciously raided the Warrior encampment.

On this we can say no more.

The other interesting aspect of these bail hearings is that the Crown is using all three possible grounds in order to justify detaining all six accused prior to sentencing.

Primary grounds refers to the possibility that an accused will attend court.

Secondary grounds refers to the protection or safety of the public.

The rarely used third grounds refers to maintaining confidence in the administration of justice. Defence lawyer Menard notes that this third grounds is most commonly reserved for crimes that “strike at the public’s conscience.”

In any case, Menard was understandably surprised at the fact that on a day when the court was supposed to deal with three bail hearings, not even one was completed.

“Our system is based upon not punishing people prior to trial,” says Menard. “If you believe in that system, if you believe in the presumption of innocence and the importance of our Charter values, [then] we don’t punish people pre-trial.”

Menard also was quick to point out that while the Crown is at an advantage because it can create a narrative surrounding the events of an alleged crime (through press conferences where the RCMP put on display weapons and ammunition allegedly seized from their raid, for example), the public should maintain mental vigilance when analyzing such information through media who weren’t at the scene of the arrests and often blindly re-hash police press releases.

“The narrative for the RCMP and the government is out there in the media,” says Menard. “They can give interviews and do press releases. [So] the average person probably has a settled view of what happened [in the RCMP’s raid on October 17th]. That’s not necessarily an accurate view.”

Bail hearings for the six incarcerated Mi’kmaq Warriors will most likely continue all week at the Moncton courthouse.

Global: Judge rules not to extend SWN injunction against shale gas protesters

Judge rules not to extend SWN injunction against shale gas protesters

By Staff  Global News
A police vehicle is seen in Rexton, N.B. as police began enforcing an injunction to end an ongoing demonstration against shale gas exploration in eastern New Brunswick on Thursday, Oct.17, 2013.

A police vehicle is seen in Rexton, N.B. as police began enforcing an injunction to end an ongoing demonstration against shale gas exploration in eastern New Brunswick on Thursday, Oct.17, 2013.

Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

MONCTON – A Moncton judge has ruled against a request by SWN to extend a court injunction against shale gas protesters in Rexton, N.B.

READ MORE: Complete coverage of the shale gas protests in New Brunswick

The injunction, which SWN obtained on Oct. 3, was to remove protesters who were blocking access to SWN equipment needed for shale gas exploration.

SWN Resources had asked for the injunction to be extended indefinitely.

BELOW: The original SWN injunction paperwork

It was hoped talks between the protesters — which included members of the nearby Elsipogtog First Nation and other First Nations, the company and the government — would help the situation come to a peaceful end.

WATCH: Elsipogtog First Nation leaders criticize RCMP over anti-shale protest crackdown

The injunction was due to expire on Friday, and RCMP acted on it Thursday morning. Police clashes with protesters led to 40 arrests after five RCMP vehicles were torched.

SWN claimed it has lost $60,000 a day while access to its equipment has been blocked.

With files from Nick Logan and Laura Brown

HMC: RCMP bring 60 drawn guns, dogs, assault rifles, to serve injunction on the wrong road

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From the Halifax Media Coop: http://halifax.mediacoop.ca/story/rcmp-bring-60-drawn-guns-dogs-assault-rifles-serve/19358

RCMP bring 60 drawn guns, dogs, assault rifles, to serve injunction on the wrong road

After van, main blocker, removed the night before, RCMP seem hell-bent for violence in early dawn encounter with Warriors

by Miles Howe

War Chief Seven Bernard wasunarmed, outmanned and off the path of SWN's injunction. Was any of this necessary? [Photo: Miles Howe]
War Chief Seven Bernard wasunarmed, outmanned and off the path of SWN’s injunction. Was any of this necessary? [Photo: Miles Howe]
Grappling with a young Warrior. [Photo: Miles Howe]
Grappling with a young Warrior. [Photo: Miles Howe]
Elsipogtog youth runs in fear as RCMP descend into madness. [Photo: Miles Howe]
Elsipogtog youth runs in fear as RCMP descend into madness. [Photo: Miles Howe]
Far from the Mi'kmaq's last stand. District War Chief Jason Augustine faces down the barrels of 20 pistols. [Photo: Miles Howe]
Far from the Mi’kmaq’s last stand. District War Chief Jason Augustine faces down the barrels of 20 pistols. [Photo: Miles Howe]

Moncton, New Brunswick – I have been camping at the current blockade along highway 134 since the inception of the encampment, filing almost daily reports for the Media Coop. During June and July of this year, when protests against shale gas exploration in New Brunswick were of far less national interest, I was doing the same.

Around 6am yesterday morning, October 17th, RCMP forces again blocked off both sides of the anti-shale gas encampment along highway 134, this time with an as yet unseen amount of police force. For numerous days prior, RCMP were allowing first walking traffic, then one lane of automobile traffic, to pass freely through the blockaded area. Anti-shale activists, as a measure of good faith, and in deference to emergency vehicles in particular, had days earlier removed two felled trees that had completely blocked off vehicular traffic.

The move, of course, allowed traffic flow to resume to near normal. It also allowed unhindered access to RCMP, who as it will be made clear were scouting out the area and making plans for an ultimate take-down of the traffic-slowing, but completely peaceful, protest.

Yesterday, I first heard that the roads were blocked off by someone screaming in a tented area near the entrance gate to the compound that housed SWN Resources Canada’s seismic testing equipment, in the vicinity of where I was camped. At the time, I was asleep.

I could hear police beginning to identify themselves, and a rustling through the trees that suggested numerous bodies moving around. RCMP, I surmised, were everywhere, and the always possible event of the RCMP serving SWN’s injunction against blocking their equipment was upon us.

SWN, the Texas-based gas company, had earlier been given a ten day extension to their injunction against the encampment, due to expire on October 21st. We had heard that the injunction had been printed in Irving-owned newspapers. Due to Irving’s collusion with SWN (the compound in which SWN’s equipment was housed, for example, is Irving-owned), there had been something of a ban on Irving newspapers. We had also been advised by various sources that peace would remain at the encampment until at least Friday, October 18th, when a public hearing against the injunction was set to occur at the Moncton courthouse.

Clearly not.

I grabbed my car keys and ran the 100-odd metres towards the Mi’kmaq Warrior encampment.

What I saw was surprising.

The ditch opposite me was already filled with 20-odd police in tactical blue uniforms, pistols already drawn. Three police officers dressed in full camouflage, one with a short-chained German Shepherd, were also near the ditch.

In the far field, creeping towards the Warrior encampment – which was comprised of one trailer and about ten tents – were at least 35 more police officers. Many of these wore tactical blue and had pistols drawn. At least three officers were wearing full camouflage and had sniper rifles pointed at the amassing group. The Warriors, for their part, numbered about 15.

Through a police loud speaker towards the highway 11 off-ramp, an officer began reading the injunction against the blocking of SWN’s seismic equipment. This was all before dawn.

Still in the pre-dawn dark, about seven molotov cocktails flew out of the woods opposite the police line stationed in the ditch. I cannot verify who threw these cocktails. They were – if it matters – lobbed ineffectively at the line of police and merely splashed small lines of fire across the road. A lawn chair caught fire from one cocktail. Two camouflaged officers then pumped three rounds of rubber bullet shotgun blasts into the woods.

Shortly after, three so-called warriors with a journalist in tow – who claim to have arrived two nights ago from Manitoba – appeared to have determined that the situation was too extreme for them. Two of them have since been identified as Harrisen Freison and ‘Eagle Claw’. They promptly ran down the road towards the far end of the police blockade. Until last night no one had ever seen these individuals before.

About ten minutes later, with tensions now becoming highly escalated between the encroaching line of police in the field adjacent to the encampment and the Warriors now on a public dirt road, two officers approached Seven Bernard, chief of the Warrior Society. They attempted to serve Bernard with SWN’s contentious injunction. Dozens of guns from all angles were pointed at all of us.

Seven Bernard began to walk away from the officer attempting to serve him the injunction. If it matters, the officer in question was the same Sergeant Rick Bernard who had earlier in the summer arrested me on charges of threats and obstruction of justice – both of which amounted to nothing and were subsequently dropped.

Sergeant Bernard threw the injunction at his namesake, saying: “Consider yourself served.”

I could hear the RCMP surrounding us speaking about someone having a gun. I did not see any Warrior carrying a firearm. I can say with certainty, however, that no live round was ever fired by the Warrior side. If, as the RCMP are now claiming, that a single shot was discharged, it was not from this altercation.

Before continuing, it is important to note that the Warrior encampment was on government – or Crown – land. Crown land, legally, is being held for Canada’s indigenous people, in this case the Mi’kmaq people. Through negligence of the Crown, this is often forgotten, especially by Canada’s non-indigenous populations.

Equally as forgotten is the fact that none of Canada’s Maritime provinces are ceded land. The Crown is tied to the original indigenous inhabitants – and their land – through treaties of peace and friendship. Nothing more.

It is also important to note that the entire encroaching police formation was focused on a group of about 15 Warriors, all of whom were now on a public dirt road, away from SWN’s so-called blockaded equipment.

The injunction was meant to focus on protestors blocking access to SWN’s equipment on highway 134. All of the subsequent arrests at this end of the altercation were made on Hannah Road.

With RCMP forces having entirely overwhelmed any remaining activists at the compound gate, the question must be asked:

Why focus on a small band of Warriors, clearly away from all of SWN’s equipment and entirely incapable of reforming a blockade, with over 60 guns of various calibre drawn on them?

Indeed, a van belonging to one Lorraine Clair from Elsipogtog First Nation had the evening before been removed from the compound gate. It was the main blocking factor to SWN’s – or anybody’s, really – access to their equipment.

Tensions at this stand-off further escalated when a group of Elsipogtog youth began running up the dirt road towards the Warriors, and police. It is unclear how the youth, on foot, had managed to come up a back road towards a highly volatile situation. The police attempted to halt the approaching youth, for what reason is unclear.

Mi’kmaq Warrior Suzanne Patles, in a last ditch attempt to defuse a situation now spiralling into a screaming match with police guns pointing in every direction, ran into the middle of the field screaming: “We were given this tobacco last night!”

Now crying, in her hand she held a plug of tobacco, provided to her by RCMP negotiators wrapped in red cloth as a traditional token of peace the night before.

Skirmishes then broke out in every direction. From the highway side, District War Chief Jason Augustine was being chased by numerous police. In front of me, everywhere really, Warriors were being taken down by numerous RCMP officers in various clothes. Rubber bullet shots were fired by the RCMP, and both Jim Pictou and Aaron Francis both claim that they were hit – in the back and leg respectively.

I continued to try photographing what had quickly become a chaotic scene until one officer in camouflage and assault rifle pointed at me, saying: “He’s with them. Take him out!”

I was taken to the ground and arrested.

Myself and approximately 25 individuals then spent a varying amount of time at the Codiac detention centre. Some of us, apparently on a haphazard basis, were provided blankets and mattresses. Others spent about 20 hours on hard concrete.

At about 12am, I was taken for fingerprinting and told my charge would be obstruction of justice, for running at an altercation (taking photographs all the while, mind you). I was refused release when I could not procure a $500 note of promise.

An hour later, I was brought back to the release desk. My charge was now mischief, with conditions to stay 1 kilometre away from SWN’s equipment and personnel.

I refused to sign these documents at this point, preferring to see a judge the next day. At approximately 3am I was told that all charges against me had been dropped and that I would be read SWN’s injunction and then released.

I refused to sign the injunction, and at 3:15am was released into the Moncton night.

I can only assume that my ever-reducing charges were due in no small amount to a public outcry over once again arresting me while covering the ongoing seismic testing story in New Brunswick.

I give thanks for this continued support.

Again, one must wonder at the RCMP’s pre-sunrise, decidedly violent, means of attempting to enforce an injunction against blocking SWN’s equipment. Again, one must reiterate that neither members or the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society or anyone else was anywhere near the newly-unblocked compound gate. Nor were they at all capable of reforming any blockade style formation.

Again, it must be reiterated that Lorraine Clair’s van the main impediment to accessing the equipment had been removed the night before.

Instead, with guns drawn, the RCMP appeared intent on provoking a violent climax on the near three-week blockade.

I say in no uncertain terms that it is miraculous that no one was seriously injured yesterday, indeed killed. The RCMP arrived with pistols drawn, dogs snapping, assault rifles trained on various targets, and bus loads of RCMP waiting from across the province and beyond.

As solidarity actions spring up across the country, yesterday’s actions have perhaps invited a far greater climax to New Brunswickers fight against shale gas.

Finally, while the mainstream media will go far to paint this as a “Native” issue, it is vital to remember that the blockade, until yesterday, had been supported by various allies from across the province. It is also key to note that an original 28 groups, representing New Brunswickers from all walks of life, had demanded an end to all shale gas exploration or development.

This all occurred long before images of bandana-ed Indigenous people, who veracity as true grassroots activists and not provocateurs is now being closely examined, ever set fire to a single RCMP squad car in Rexton.

HMC: Gone for the summer – SWN Resources Canada folds ’til September

Gone for the summer – SWN Resources Canada folds ’til September

Shale gas company allowed to detonate 11 more un-exploded shot holes – charges against 25 of 35 will be dropped.

by Miles Howe

» Download file ‘johnlevi.mp3’ (3.4MB)

Eslipogtog War Chief John Levi. [Photo: Miles Howe]
Eslipogtog War Chief John Levi. [Photo: Miles Howe]

ELSIPOGTOG, NEW BRUNSWICK – Minutes ago, afternoon negotiations between the RCMP, Elsipogtog Chief Arren Sock, Elsipogtog War Chief John Levi, former Elsipogtog Chief Susan Levi-Peters, Mi’kmaq Warrior Society Chief ‘Seven’ and others concluded with a few key announcements.

  • SWN Resources Canada will be permitted to detonate 11 un-exploded shot-holes along ‘Line 5’, the backwoods seismic testing line west of highway 126 that the company is currently attempting to test for shale gas. A team of observers from Elsipogtog First Nation, which will include 8 scouts, 3 Grandmothers and 2 Elsipogtog Peacekeepers will be tasked with observing the completion of SWN’s work. No more testing will be allowed for these remaining 11 shot holes.
  • Charges laid against 25 of the 35 arrested in the protests against SWN’s seismic testing will be dropped, pending an unmolested completion of SWN’s detonation work. This work is expected to be completed by Friday, August 2nd.
  • People who have already entered the court system will not have their charges dropped. These include Elsipogtog War Chief John Levi and activist Susanne Patles, as well as others.
  • SWN is expected to return to seismic test in Kent County in mid-September. It will then focus it’s efforts on lines ‘3’ and ‘4’. These seismic test lines are far closer to Elsipogtog First Nation, in some instances bordering the community by only a few kilometers. SWN’s earlier attempts to seismic test these lines resulted in significant equipment destruction.
Please enjoy the following interview with Elsipogtog War Chief John Levi.

HMC: SWN issued notice of eviction by Geptin of District Grand Council

SOURCE: http://halifax.mediacoop.ca/story/swn-issued-notice-eviction-geptin-district-grand-c/18423

SWN issued notice of eviction by Geptin of District Grand Council

Shale gas company’s eviction notice follows earlier public notice issuance

by Miles Howe

Photo: Miles Howe
Photo: Miles Howe

See also:

ELSIPOGTOG, NEW BRUNSWICK – Noel Augustine, Geptin of the Migmag Grand Council of the Signigtog District, has issued a notice of eviction to SWN Resources Canada. The district of Signigtog comprises much of southern New Brunswick and part of northern Nova Scotia. As Geptin, Augustine represents the traditional form of government for the area.

The notice of eviction, sent by registered mail on Wednesday, July 24th, to Mike Ezell, Moncton’s representative of SWN Resources Canada, is the second letter that Augustine has sent to the gas extraction company. The first letter, sent in early June, was a public notice issuance that no shale gas exploration or drilling is to occur in the Signigtog district. It has clearly been ignored.
The notice of eviction reads as follows:
Dear Mike Ezell,
The people of the sovereign Mi’kmaq Nation in the Territory of Signigtog do hereby serve this NOTICE OF EVICTION to Southwestern Energy Company, SWN Resources Canada, and any affiliated subsidiary company or contractor engaged in shale gas exploration or development in the Territory of Signigtog. Any permit, lease, license, agreement or authorization of any kind issued by the Province of New Brunswick or Government of Canada related to shale gas exploration in the Signigtog District is VOID and illegal.
On May 14, 2013 the Band Council of Elsipogtog First Nation passed a resolution opposing shale gs exploration and development within Elsipogtog First Nation and the Province of New Brunswick citing concerns about the environment and the need for direct consultation by the Crown. On May 30, 2013, the Migmag Grand Council of the Signigtog District issued a notice prohibiting all “shale gas exploration and/or development” without the “expressed written consent and full participation of the Migmag Grand Council and the Migmag people of the Signigtog District.”
The Migmag Grand Council are the signators of all the Migmag peace and friendship treaties and holds title to all lands in the Signigtog District. From time immemorial, the people of the Signigtog District governed y the Grand Council, have lived upon our traditional lans, governed by our own political system, language, culture, spiritual and diverse means of livelihood. We have never surrendered our sovereignty or jurisdiction over our lands. Our laws are as valid and binding today as in the time of our ancestors. New Brunswick is unceded land and subject to Migmag jurisdiction.
Sincerely, 
Geptin Noel J. Augustine
Migmag Grand Council

Women Protesters in White Greet Shale Gas Workers at Dawn

Images from a July 18 dawn demonstration when indigenous and non-indigenous women “white dove” protesters peacefully (but loudly) made their presence felt at the Moncton Holiday Inn where the SWN workers are staying while they conduct seismic testing in Kent County.

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