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.”

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CBC: Stage set for shale gas showdown

SWN Resources to resume exploration this week while aboriginal leaders vow to continue protests

By Jacques Poitras, CBC News Posted: Nov 04, 2013 6:37 AM AT Last Updated: Nov 04, 2013 6:37 AM AT

It could be another contentious week in New Brunswick on the issue of shale gas development.

Premier David Alward has confirmed that SWN Canada is planning to resume exploration for shale gas in Kent County in the coming days and weeks.

John LeviElsipogtog warrior chief John Levi says protests will start again if SWN Resources resumes exploring for shale gas this week. (Jacques Poitras / CBC)

​And that has prompted warnings from aboriginal activists that there will be more protests in an attempt to stop the company.

Continue reading

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.

HMC: Who actually owns SWN?

SOURCE: http://www.mediacoop.ca/blog/max-haiven/19452

by Max Haiven

The struggle of the people of Kent County New Brunswick against fracking, and the phenomenal resistance at Elsipogtog this October, has generated a lot of buzz online.  Many people, both local to Mi’Kmaqi (Atlantic Canada) and beyond want to help. One way to help is to put economic pressure on SWN, the corproation that is responsible for the shale-gas testing and whose “thumper” trucks were so heroically seized until the RCMP raid on October 17.  Recently, some have referred to this website <http://stockzoa.com/ticker/swn/> to argue that SWN is actually owned by major global brands like Microsoft, Nike, Exxon, Disney and Philip Morris.

This is inaccurate.

SWN is a publicly-traded corporation, which means that its shares are traded on the New York Stock exchange and its “owners” are multiple individuals and corporations.  Because it is “publicly” traded, it must report who its major investors are, and this is where the stockzoa.com information comes from.  If we look at the list, we can see that most of those owners have obscure names.  Here are the top 5:

Capital Research Global Investors^ 20.98M $766.48M June 30, 2013
Sands Capital Management 18.10M $661.33M June 30, 2013
Vanguard 16.86M $615.91M June 30, 2013
Wellington Management Company 16.23M $592.83M June 30, 2013
T. Rowe Price Associates 15.40M $562.58M June 30, 2013

These are all “funds,” which means that each of them is itself a company made up of multiple investors.  In other words, each of these “investors” is itself a corporation, made up of multiple investors. Because most of these funds are “private,” we don’t get to know who those investors are.  They are most likely a combination of (a) very rich individuals, (b) investment banks, (c) pension or mutual funds which manage people’s retirement savings and (d) possibly (but not likely) major corporations (like Nike, WalMart, Microsoft, etc.).

Now these “funds” are ALSO investors in all those global brands mentioned above (Microsoft, Nike, Exxon, Disney and Philip Morris).  Funds like these work by making multiple investments in many different companies and creating a “portfolio” of stocks.

In other words:  SWN is NOT owned by Microsoft, Nike, Exxon, Disney, Philip Morris, etc.

The same FUNDS that own SWN ALSO own shares in Microsoft, Nike, Exxon, Disney and Philip Morris, etc.

The exception is invetsment banks.  The stockzoa.com page shows us that some major banks DO own part of SWN.  Hence:

GOLDMAN SACHS 10.29M$376.04MJune 30, 2013 JPMORGAN CHASE & CO 3.15M$114.89MJune 30, 2013

(Due diligence: I am not an expert in investments, but I am a specialist in the sociological and cultural dimensions of finance capital.  You can see a relatively readable piece I wrote on the subject here: http://truth-out.org/news/item/16911-financial-totalitarianism-the-economic-political-social-and-cultural-rule-of-speculative-capital)

WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN?

1. Boycotting brands that own SWN is very difficult.  Most of them are extremely secretive private funds whose offices are in New York, Conneticut, LA, Boston or the Cayman Islands.

2. More problematically, it is not unlikely that many Canadians (and certainly many Americans) are unwitting investors in SWN and other fracking companies because their banks or pension funds are making investments wither directly in SWN stock, or in the funds that are, in turn, buying SWN stock.

3. On the bright side, because SWN is made up of multiple investors and publicly traded, their share prices can be affected quite dramatically by bad publicity. If investors believe that the firm is in trouble in New Brunswick, they may be tempted to sell the stock, which can cause SWN’s share price to drop.

4. But convincing these funds to divest from SWN is likely a losing strategy.  These funds are not run by conscientious individuals. They are run by ruthless professional fund managers whose only legal responsibility is to make as much money for their clients as possible. Trying to convince them to do otherwise is like trying to convince a shark to try a vegetarian diet.  Most of the investors in the funds have little to no idea where there money is going.

SO

Efforts to hurt SWN economically would more effectively occur on other fronts:

1.  The civil disobedience in Kent County will continue to cost SWN a huge amount of money.  Some estimates put it at over $60,000 a day.

2.  Economic efforts should be directed at SWN’s local and more vulnerable partner, Irving, who have been providing private security for SWN, whose newspapers in NB have been criminalizing and defaming anti-fracking protesters, and who will gain materially from a shale-gas industry in the province.  Irving have allowed SWN to use one their lots to store their equipment. Irving owns (a) Irving gas stations and home heating, (b) Majesta and Royal paper products, (c) Cavendish Farms (who make a large percentage of North America’s french-fries) and (d) Kent Building Supplies, and much more.  Without Irving’s support (both material and political) SWN and Fracking in New Brunswick would be history. In Halifax, solidarity protesters have been holding demonstrations outside Irving gas stations since the summer, and more are planned in the future.

3. Economic efforts can also target local (Atlantic Canadian) fracking companies, notably Corridor Resources (http://www.corridor.ca/), a Halifax-based comapny (traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange) that has already fracked in Penobsquis NB, and is planning to undertake the incredibly dangerous practice of deep-ocean drilling in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

4.  More generally, while SWN is the company responsible for fracking in Kent County, Canada has the dubious honour of being the world’s leader in mining and resource extraction corporations, and many of these corporations are committing heinous crimes against Indigenous people around the world.  These mining companies are, for the most part, traded on the Toronto Stick Exchange, and almost every Canadian who has a pension or a mutual fund is, unwittingly, an investor.  Divestment campaigns against Canadian mining companies would be very helpful.

Meanwhile, there are desperate financial needs at the protest camp in NB to help cover legal and bail fees.  To make a donation, check out sacredfirenb.com.

Those in Halifax can join in solidarity actions this Monday at the Irving Station at the corner of Robie and Charles Street at 3pm: https://www.facebook.com/events/167445490121276

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 :)

A summary of today’s court proceedings in Moncton

An account of today’s court proceedings in Moncton  from Moncton Anti-Fracking (FB)

Today was a bit of a fiasco in the Moncton Courthouse. We arrived at 8:45 only to find a long line of people waiting to clear security. A comment was made that clearing to board an aircraft was a faster smoother process than entering the courthouse.

SWN was scheduled for 9:30am to hear the judge render his decision regarding the indefinite injunction against the people of New Brunswick. The sheriff announced it had changed to 1pm.

Warriors were scheduled for 9:30 am in two separate court rooms. People were splitting up, room 5 and room 8. Another announcement by the sheriff. The warriors would all be using the same lawyer, so they would be moving everyone to room 8, a small court room that wouldn’t hold everyone.

People jammed in the court room, and waited for about 45 minutes, then came another announcement from the sheriff. There was a delay, and court would resume at 1:00 pm.

Dashing off for a quick lunch, and headed back to the courthouse for 12:30 (the lines getting in have been long all day). Two sessions to cover, what to do? Warriors at 1pm, SWN at 1:30. The good news was the courts were on the same floor, and people can come and go when they like.

Lawyers arrived for the warriors, and the judge entered the courtroom. The crown had more evidence and more charges. The defense lawyers asked for time to review the material, and 3 warriors had their bail hearings held over until tomorrow morning at 9:30 am. The other 3 warriors had their bail hearing held over until Wednesday morning at 9:30 am.

While waiting in court for the proceedings to begin, we chatted with the sheriff. He seemed like a really nice guy, so we asked if we could sing. He said sure, as long as it wasn’t too loud, as to bother the other court sessions going on on the same floor.
We sang the Mother Earth Song. The sheriff said we should take it on the road and sooth some of the uprising in prisons, because it was such a soothing song. Once that proceeding was over (held over) we quickly headed to the swn court room.

The swn court room was packed. The same sheriff came in, and said “if you guys want to sing in this room too, it’s okay with me” and we sang the Strong Woman Song. It was beautiful.

The swn lawyer looked defeated. Judge Rideout didn’t read his entire decision, but quickly said the injunction was denied, and people could read his entire decision later. Copies were made available.

The swn lawyer rode the elevator with two women who were talking about the love in the room. He asked “do you still love me?” and they gave him a hug, and told him he still had time to come over to our side. Priceless!

Outside the courthouse there was jubilation, drums, the honor song, and a lot of hugs and tears. One more step towards a future of clean air and water for our children, their children, and the next seven generations and beyond.

Solidarity! To all our Brothers and Sisters! All My Relations!