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: 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!

AJA: Shale gas company loses bid to halt Canada protests

After last week’s protests over gas exploration turned violent, a judge ruled that demonstrations may continue
Topics:
Environment
Canada
Energy
Fracking protest
Members of the Elsipogtog First Nations group protest a shale-gas project near Rexton, New Brunswick, Thursday.
Courtesy 95.9 Sun FM, Miramichi, New Brunswick

A Canadian court ruled Monday to deny an energy company’s request for a permanent injunction to prevent interference with shale-gas exploration in New Brunswick. The ruling allows protests to continue and for demonstrators to once again occupy roads used by energy-company vehicles.

Justice George Rideout issued a ruling in the Court of Queen’s Bench against the motion of Texas-based Southwestern Energy, known as SWN Resources in Canada.

An informal coalition of First Nations and nonnative protesters had blocked a road to prevent the company from continuing its exploration. The judge did not state the reasons for his decision but said a written statement would be issued.

SWN Resources, which did not respond to Al Jazeera’s request for comment, argued in court that the protest was costing the company $60,000 a day.

The barricade and protests, part of a wider movement by dozens of local community groups that have opposed fracking there for years, began last month on Route 134 near Rexton, about 515 miles east of Montreal.

The protests gained international attention last Thursday when an anti-fracking protest blocking the company’s activities in New Brunswick turned violent.

“This is not just a First Nations campaign. It’s actually quite a historic moment where all the major peoples of this province — English, French and aboriginal — come together for a common cause,” David Coon, head of the Green Party in New Brunswick, told Al Jazeera. “This is really a question of justice. They want to protect their common lands, water and air from destruction.”

A temporary injunction was issued on Oct. 3 ordering the protesters to leave. This resulted in negotiations with the provincial government, local residents opposed to fracking and First Nation leaders — but did not end the protest.


‘When cops show up with guns and pepper spray and arrest 40 people and take a situation that’s been peaceful and attack them — then suddenly it’s a big story,’ Bennet said.

Last Thursday, over 100 Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers arrived with guns and dogs to enforce the injunction, resulting in violent clashes.

The RCMP reported it had seized weapons from some of the protesters and that protesters had torched police vehicles. Activists said the RCMP moved in aggressively — firing tear gas and pepper spray and setting dogs on them; about 40 protesters were arrested.

“In New Brunswick over the last three or four years, there have been continual meetings and demonstrations against shale-gas exploration, so clearly the people are not in support of the fracking industry coming to their province,” John Bennet, executive director of the Sierra Club Canada, told Al Jazeera.

He said the protests have been going on for years and have always been peaceful. He said he tried to get the media to cover the protests before but could not generate interest.

“Suddenly last Thursday, when cops show up with guns and pepper spray and arrest 40 people and take a situation that’s been peaceful and attack them — then suddenly it’s a big story,” Bennet said.

“For me it brings images of Custer and people attacking Indian villages to make them leave. It was done in the same spirit. They could have come in without weapons and tried to mediate. Instead the police did a dawn raid in camouflage. They caused the violence.”

Spoiling the land

Coon, who spent some time at the protest, described it as friendly, peaceful and welcoming.

“My impression was that the people were overwhelmingly local and all ages. The atmosphere was almost like a block party. People had lawn chairs out. They even had a turkey dinner,” Coon said.

Many local residents are opposed to fracking because they fear their water will be contaminated, their land degraded and air polluted, he told Al Jazeera.

“These are rural communities with very clear air, beautiful land, drinkable water. They don’t want to see that spoiled,” Coon said. “When energy companies move in, they industrialize the area, which completely changes the quality of life in those communities.”

Though the protest includes a diverse group of local residents who say they will not allow fracking on their land because of environmental and health concerns, the only legal argument can be made by its First Nations members.


‘These people have a democratic and constitutional right to be consulted about what happens on their land,’ Bennet said. ‘And if that’s not respected, then they have a right to protest.’

Since the mid-1980s, 186 rulings by the Supreme Court of Canada and lower courts have established a precedent that aboriginal people must be consulted and accommodated when development on their land is considered, according to Canada’s CBC news.

That’s because, unlike the rest of Canadian First Nations, the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet peoples — located in New Brunswick — never ceded their territory in treaties or lost it by force, giving them more legal rights over their land than most other First Nations.

“That certainly was not done when the license to explore the land was given to SWN,” said Coon. “It was not done when those licenses were extended.”

Off tribal lands, oil and gas resources generally remain under the control of the provincial or federal government. A request for comment by the New Brunswick government’s energy branch was not answered.

New Brunswick’s Assembly of First Nations Chiefs called on the provincial government Monday to revoke shale-gas exploration permits issued to energy companies until they have been consulted, CNC news reported.

“These people have a democratic and constitutional right to be consulted about what happens on their land,” Bennet said. “And if that’s not respected, then they have a right to protest.”

Regardless of the result of the court ruling Monday, local community activists are determined to do everything they can to stop energy companies from moving into their province.

“Fracking will not occur there. Those communities will not allow it to happen,” Coon said. “To impose the industry on those communities … would require continued police presence and lots of protection around the clock for industry activities.”

Al Jazeera

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: 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: Undercover RCMP crash anti-shale gas press conference, activists remain in woods on ‘Line 5’

SOURCE: http://halifax.mediacoop.ca/story/undercover-rcmp-crash-anti-shale-gas-press-confere/18362

Undercover RCMP crash anti-shale gas press conference, activists remain in woods on ‘Line 5’

Nightfall finds unknown number of activists still in woods along SWN’s woodland testing line.

by Miles Howe

By now a familiar site. Police and security together bar entrance to SWN's seismic testing lines. [Photo: M. Howe]
By now a familiar site. Police and security together bar entrance to SWN’s seismic testing lines. [Photo: M. Howe]

See also:

DIEPPE, NEW BRUNSWICK – Yesterday, Upriver Environment Watch called a press conference at the Super 8 motel in Dieppe, New Brunswick. Attended by about 50 people, including 4 representatives from the media, the anti-shale gas action group from Kent County hosted a panel of speakers with a variety of expertise and experience.
“Impunity is the word we’re working with today,” said Anne Pohl, host of the press conference.
Pohl had, on July 19th, sent an open letter to New Brunswick Premier David Alward. The letter was at once an invitation to Alward to attend the press conference (neither he nor any member of his caucus attended) as well as a point by point description of the experienced hardships that those continuing to call for a moratorium on shale gas exploration in New Brunswick have experienced in their dealings with the RCMP, SWN Resources Canada as well as their elected government representatives.
If there was a continuous thread to the press conference, it was a general sense of frustration.
“We feel it is time for your government to stop directing the RCMP to harass us and to throw us in jail,” read the open letter to Premier Alward from the Upriver Environment Watch.
“It is time for your government to start talking with us. We have been trying to communicate with you for a long time. We have tried petitions, letters, requests for meetings, protests and everything else we could think of to get your attention. Your avoidance of us has been complete. We are extremely disappointed in your government’s failure to respond and acknowledge our concerns. We ask for you to respect and recognize the legitimacy of our concerns.
Chris Sabas, one of two members of the Christian Peacemakers Team that has been invited to document the anti-shale actions by Elsipogtog War Chief John Levi, was the first presenter. Her information focused on her recent excursions visiting post-testing areas along ‘Line 5’, the backwoods seismic testing line that has for weeks now been the focus of SWN Resources Canada’s testing efforts.
Sabas’ had photographic evidence of unplugged ‘shot holes’, as well as disturbing photographs of animal tracks that she noted appeared in large numbers around post-explosion zones.
Willi Nolan, a long-time resident of Kent County, as well as a member of Upriver Environment Watch, focused her presentation on the dangers of the chemicals already being used in SWN’s exploration processes.
Nolan noted that while information was not readily available, SWN was most likely using a TNT explosive to detonate it’s shot holes. Having already detonated dozens of shot holes throughout the backwoods along ‘Line 5’, Nolan noted that there was no evidence of independent monitors looking after post-testing zones.
Celianne Cormier, another lifelong resident of Kent County, recounted her personal story of being bullied by SWN and Stantec Engineering when it came time for her water to be tested leading up to testing in 2011.
Cormier related a situation where it did not appear that Stantec, ostensibly a third party independent water testing company, was acting at an arm’s length from SWN, the company required to do the water testing. In fact, every time a “water tester” called the Cormier residence, she noted that they claimed to be calling on behalf of SWN. Cormier felt increasingly skeptical when water testers consistently refused to produce identification that they were in fact Stantec employees.
“Why were the callers introducing themselves as calling from SWN and why was SWN calling the shots if the testing was being done by an independent or third party?” asked Cormier. “I lost all confidence in the process, I felt violated and bullied because I felt I was not asking for anything special. In fact I felt I was only insisting on the world class safe ans secure practices as promised by our provincial government.”
Ann Pohl spoke about the difficulty of having the concerns of the citizens of New Brunswick properly heard and represented by a mainstream media almost completely controlled by the powerful Irving empire. Pohl noted that Irving, who stands to benefit from shale gas extraction  in any number of ways; from trucking, to shipping, to processing, and on, was knowingly marginalizing the message of those opposed to shale gas extraction, often framing it as a ‘Native issue’.
After fielding questions from the media, the press conference then turned into an open forum, with various concerned citizens from around the province voicing their concerns about the increasingly obvious signs of industrial hostility, whether in disregard for the natural environment, complicity with law enforcement bodies, both public and private, and lack of concern from elected officials.
As if on cue, as one woman was describing the difficulties of trying to continue to live alongside a pot ash mine in Penobsquis, it became apparent that two undercover RCMP officers had been taking notes throughout the entire press conference. When asked what they were doing, constable Dave Matthews noted that he was taking notes on “the mood” of the press conference. When cameras were trained on the officers, they quickly fled the conference.
Rogersville heats up
It may well be that the blatant disrespect of laying seismic testing equipment immediately adjacent to a cemetery where family members and war veterans lie has begun to galvanize Rogersville’s Acadian population into action.
Today, only two days after the RCMP lied to activists attempting to park on parish land adjacent to their cemetery, telling those attempting to gather that it was private property, an emboldened crowd of about 60 Acadians, Anglophones and Indigenous people – united in their purpose – gathered in the pouring rain next to an active testing line.
Fearless of the potential danger of un-exploded ordinance, a number of people ventured southward down the active testing line, heading away from Pleasant Ridge Road towards Salmon River Road. With the constant hum of a helicopter transporting bagged geophones as a backdrop, activists wandered the freshly cut seismic line. Many noticed the presence of traditionally used medicinal plants growing directly next to un-detonated shot holes.
While most people exited the seismic test line by nightfall, as of press time an unknown number of individuals remain in the woods near the ordinance.

HMC: SWN Resources Canada’s ordinance sits behind a New Brunswick cemetery

SOURCE: http://halifax.mediacoop.ca/audio/blasts-wake-dead-swn-resources-canadas-ordinance-s/18340

Blasts to wake the dead – SWN Resources Canada’s ordinance sits behind a New Brunswick cemetery

Interviews with family members of those buried at the Rogersville cemetery

by Miles Howe

click here to download the audio file» Download file ‘cemetery.mp3’ (11.5MB)

Reggie Pitre stands beside the tombstone of his cousin. [Photo: M. Howe]
Reggie Pitre stands beside the tombstone of his cousin. [Photo: M. Howe]
Paul Bourque stands beside his brother's tombstone. [Photo: M. Howe]
Paul Bourque stands beside his brother’s tombstone. [Photo: M. Howe]
Gathered crowd at Rogersville cemetery. [Photo: M. Howe]
Gathered crowd at Rogersville cemetery. [Photo: M. Howe]

ROGERSVILLE, NEW BRUNSWICK – On July 21st we learned that SWN Resources Canada had an undetermined amount of unexploded ordinance behind a cemetery on Pleasant Ridge Road, in Rogersville, New Brunswick.

The cemetery sits adjacent to SWN’s ‘Line 5’, a 35.9 kilometer long seismic testing line that for weeks now has been heavily guarded by RCMP and private security firms.

It is important to note that the Rules for Industry section of the Responsible Environmental Managment of Oil and Natural Gas Activities in New Brunswick notes that the minimum setback for a cemetery from a seismic energy source is 50 meters. At this particular cemetery, seismic testing equipment was measured at under 2 meters away from the boundary line.

I spoke to a few residents from amongst the gathered crowd of about 35 Acadian, Anglophone and First Nations people. I asked them to tell me about the relatives that they had buried at this particular cemetery; the lives their relatives had lived; and what they thought of shale gas exploration.

Please enjoy the following interviews.

HMC: SWN drills more wetlands shot-holes, security guard finds prayer and white doves in the morning

SOURCE: http://halifax.mediacoop.ca/story/swn-drills-more-wetlands-shot-holes-security-guard/18314

SWN drills more wetlands shot-holes, security guard finds prayer and white doves in the morning

Line 5 work continues, Holiday Inn action draws 35 women in white.

by Miles Howe and Rana Encol

Security guard prays for Mother Nature at the site of a wetlands shot-hole. [Photo: Miles Howe]
Security guard prays for Mother Nature at the site of a wetlands shot-hole. [Photo: Miles Howe]
Women in white gathered at the Holiday Inn in Moncton to protest SWN Resource Canada's continued seismic testing in New Brunswick. [Photo: Miles Howe]
Women in white gathered at the Holiday Inn in Moncton to protest SWN Resource Canada’s continued seismic testing in New Brunswick. [Photo: Miles Howe]
Shot hole driller takes a flower. [Photo: Miles Howe]
Shot hole driller takes a flower. [Photo: Miles Howe]
ELSIPOGTOG, NEW BRUNSWICK – Yesterday, a group of anti-shale gas activists stumbled across a team of SWN-contracted workers laying a string of ‘geophones’ – the equipment used to received seismic data created when an area is tested – on a walking trail bordering a settler cemetery at 2304 Pleasant Ridge Road. SWN Resources Canada continues to seismic test ‘Line 5’, a 35.9 km north-south line that cuts through sensitive wetlands and traditional Mi’kmaq hunting grounds west of highway 126.

While the activists remained peaceful at all times, the workers appeared surprised to be discovered, retreating deeper into the woods and calling Industrial Security Limited, the Irving-owned firm that has for weeks now been providing the majority of SWN’s private security needs.

Continuing along the workers’ path, the activists discovered a drilled shot-hole – a hole bored into the ground that contains an explosive charge that will later be set off to gather seismic data – directly in a wetlands area. This falls in line with an earlier discovery of SWN Resources Canada circumventing registered wetlands regulations further south along Line 5.

Two Industrial Security Limited employees then arrived, and, citing workplace safety policy which does not allow anyone without protective equipment to come closer than 50 metres to an explosive at a workplace, informed the gathering party that they would not be allowed to proceed further into the woods. This was despite the fact that the activists were less than 3 metres from the explosive-laden shot hole.

For the next several hours, something of a standoff ensued, with a growing number of security guards, RCMP and activists congregating in the woods. At one point, three Mi’kmaq women asked if they could lay tobacco at the site of the shot-hole. An Industrial Security guard offered to lay the tobacco in their stead, and while the group played the Mi’kmaq Honour Song, the guard prayed to the four directions. He later left the scene in tears.

As evening fell, it became clear that the security and RCMP were – as has been largely the case to this point – concerned almost exclusively with the well-being of SWN-contracted workers and not with the safety of those who continue to rally against shale gas exploration in New Brunswick. People questioning why they were, for example, allowed on one particular piece of the trail and not another – when the 50 metre boundary zone had already clearly been compromised – were given no clear answer.

RCMP, security and activists posed for pictures atop the shot hole, and once it was clear that the SWN-contracted workers were finished their shift, all security and police forces cleared out of the area, and the activists were free to continue along the trail. 5 more shot-holes were discovered drilled directly in wetlands areas.

The seismic testing trail continued for approximately three kilometres, crossed a small river, and wound it’s way up to Young Ridge Road.

Further inspection of the trail, to the south of the original cemetery entrance, was met with an increased security presence, including RCMP guards and armed security guards on All-Terrain Vehicles.

White Doves at the Holiday Inn

Earlier that morning around thirty-five Mi’kmaq, Acadian, and Anglophone women dressed in white, holding flowers and leaflets, occupied the parking lot entrance ways to the Holiday Inn hotel where SWN workers stay in Moncton.

Every morning the workers leave the hotel by truck and disperse to their respective testing sites and security posts – this morning to Line 5.

Nine of the women drummed and sang as they entered the lot and circled the company vehicles.  Others handed out flyers to workers and regular hotel guests.

Ruth Wolpin, a cancer survivor, says short-term economic gains from fracking aren’t worth the long-term health effects caused by carcinogens contaminating the well water.

In their leaflets, the group argues the numbers don’t add up: “Jobs available to New Brunwickers will be few, low paying and short-lived. The typical well is productive for just five years, and its profits will mostly travel out of the province.”

Organizer Greg Cook, who first mobilized around resisting the sale of NB Power in 2009-2010, asserted the current Alward government does not have public consent around this issue – and will often try to compartmentalize it as First Nations or rural issue only.  Cook said today’s action was meant to convey a message of solidarity among nations and backgrounds.

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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APTN: John Levi, war chief, speaks about anti-fracking protest

SOURCE: http://aptn.ca/pages/news/2013/07/12/john-levi-war-chief-speaks-to-aptn-about-anti-fracking-protest/

John Levi, war chief, speaks to APTN about anti-fracking protest

National News | 12. Jul, 2013 by | 0 Comments

CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO

APTN National News

He says he’s a warrior chief defending the land from environmental destruction.

John Levi leads a group from Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick who are fighting against a fracking company looking for shale gas.

The battle may be unwinnable, but Levi isn’t giving up.

APTN’s Ossie Michelin has the story.

HMC: Interview with AFN Regional Chief for NB and PEI, Roger Augustine

SOURCE: http://halifax.mediacoop.ca/audio/great-spirit-will-look-after-people-look-after-wat/18226

“The Great Spirit will look after people that look after water.”

Interview with AFN Regional Chief for NB and PEI, Roger Augustine

by Miles Howe

» Download audio file

Roger Augustine visited the sacred fire encampment in Elsipogtog on July 10th, 2103, his 66th birthday. [Photo: M. Howe]
Roger Augustine visited the sacred fire encampment in Elsipogtog on July 10th, 2103, his 66th birthday. [Photo: M. Howe]

ELSIPOGTOG, NEW BRUNSWICK – Yesterday, July 10th, was Roger Augustine’s birthday. Augustine is the Assembly of First Nations’ Regional Chief for New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

As promised on June 30th, Augustine spent the morning of his birthday at the sacred fire encampment in Elsipogtog, which for over a month now has represented the physical rallying point for those opposed to SWN Resource Canada’s attempts at shale gas exploration in New Brunswick.

When I spoke with Roger on June 30th, he didn’t have an opinion on shale gas, or at least not one he was willing to share publicly.

I wondered if the hours he spent at the sacred fire had given Augustine something upon which to make a public stand in regards to shale gas exploration in New Brunswick.

Please enjoy the following interview with AFN Regional Chief for New Brunswick and PEI, Roger Augustine.

IW: Elsipogtog First Nation Shale Gas Protests Update from Halifax Media Co-op Reporter Miles Howe

SOURCE: http://indigenouswaves.com/2013/07/10/elsipogtog-first-nation-shale-gas-protests-update-from-halifax-media-co-op-reporter-miles-howe/

Elsipogtog First Nation Shale Gas Protests Update from Halifax Media Co-op Reporter Miles Howe

Posted by indigenouswavesradio on July 10, 2013 · Leave a Comment

Two weeks ago Indigenous Waves spoke to Warrior Chief John Levi from Elsipogtog First Nation regarding the protests being led by his community against SWN Resources and the shale gas exploration they are engaged in on Mi’kmaq traditional territory. Since then, John Levi has been arrested, and as of Monday July 8th, 2013 was released. Halifax Media Co-op reporter Miles Howe has been covering the story since early June 2013, and was himself arrested for an incident RCMP claim took place two weeks prior to Howe’s arrest. Miles Howe joined Indigenous Waves this past Monday to discuss the events leading up to both his and War Chief John Levi’s arrest, as well as to give some further background to SWN Resource practices, the RCMP offering him cash in exchange for information and the Crown attempt to prevent Warrior Chief John Levi from giving advice to his community.

Miles Howe is a reporter and photographer for Halifax Media Co-op.

Playlist:

Darah – Australian History 101

A Tribe Called Red – Different Heroes f. Northern Voice

A Tribe Called Mi’kmaq – Calling All Warriors

Ode’min Kwe Singers – A.I.M. song

Whitefish Bay Singers – Anishinaabe Round Dance

Originally Aired Monday July 8, 2013

HMC: The problem with Line 5

SOURCE: http://halifax.mediacoop.ca/story/problem-line-5/18217

The problem with Line 5

Aerial surveillance shows SWN’s bush-cut seismic test line slashes through hunting grounds, sensitive areas

by Miles Howe

RCMP routinely block access to SWN Resource Canada's 'Line 5' [Photo: Miles Howe
RCMP routinely block access to SWN Resource Canada’s ‘Line 5’ [Photo: Miles Howe
Terrain in line 5 is relatively pristine, and comprises traditional Mi'kmaq hunting grounds. [Photo: Miles Howe]
Terrain in line 5 is relatively pristine, and comprises traditional Mi’kmaq hunting grounds. [Photo: Miles Howe]
Aerial surveillance notes that SWN has begun to cut a seismic test line through the bush. The coordinates for the northern head of the line are: N 46 41.155 W 65 32.699 [Photo: Miles Howe]
Aerial surveillance notes that SWN has begun to cut a seismic test line through the bush. The coordinates for the northern head of the line are: N 46 41.155 W 65 32.699 [Photo: Miles Howe]

See also:

ELSIPOGTOG – Large caravans of pick up trucks, fuel trucks, security trucks and a variety of other equipment continue to depart from the Moncton Holiday Inn on a daily basis. SWN’s contracted workers, the majority of whom are currently employed by Houston-based company Geokinetics, have been residing at the Holiday Inn for weeks now.

The daily pattern for most workers, as of this week, is a 6:45am visit to the Tim Horton’s counter at the local gas station. They then begin the process of organizing themselves for the 93 kilometer journey north along highway 126 to Rogersville. Some pieces of equipment do exit the highway earlier than Collette road, just north of Rogersville. It is not currently established where they work for the day.

The majority, as of July 10th, now take the Collette road exit. Equipment is usually flanked by security trucks, who, despite the illegality of the action, have been known to block Collette road against any non-SWN associated traffic. The majority of the security force is at the moment employed by Irving-owned Industrial Security Limited.

What happens then is a bit of a mystery. The equipment, which includes at least two ‘shot-hole’ drillers, is supposed to be running a north-south seismic testing line, with the Collette road entrance to the line representing near the northerly extremity of the line.

Due to continuous RCMP assistance in blocking access to the roads, aerial surveillance and walking scouts currently represent amongst the only means of gathering information as to the progress of the seismic line.

Both means of data gathering have painted an as-yet incomplete picture of the work, but scouts along the southern tip of the line report east-west cross roads having been flagged and laid with drilled charges. Whether all these charges have been detonated or not is unknown.

To the north of the line, aerial data gathering has indicated that SWN has moved slightly to the east of the seismic line route they have publicly presented in available maps. Instead, they appear to have begun to carve themselves a north-south clear cut line that begins at coordinates N 46 41.155 W 65 32.699. How far this line goes and where equipment is on this line is currently unknown.

This seismic line cuts squarely through traditional Mi’kmaw hunting grounds, and it is not uncommon to spot moose, deer, bear, fox and porcupines wandering through the terrain. The northern section of the line also appears to have some sizeable wetlands in it, and the line itself is on the Northern tip of the Richibucto River watershed.

The Richibucto watershed, according to a 2008 Ecosystem Overview published by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, is the fourth largest river basin in Eastern New Brunswick.

The watershed is also not particularly well-suited to industrial incursions. The peat moss industry, by no means comparable to the water-intensive process of hydraulic fracturing, has notably caused chemical and heavy metal contamination of the watershed, as well as threats to the ecosystem productivity, threats to aquatic fauna and changes to behaviour in aquatic species.

According to the Shale Gas Information Platform, a typical hydraulically fractured well requires anywhere from 10 to 30 million litres of water per well. The consequences of removing this much water, per well, from the Richibucto watershed – and walking scouts suggest there are scores of potential wells along line 5 alone – are not known.

With only the Atlantic Industrial Services plant in Debert, Nova Scotia, available to potentially ‘treat’ this water, what will happen to all the post-hydraulically fractured water is also not known. The Debert plant has a maximum capacity about equivalent to two fractured wells, and has already been caught dumping over 7 million litres of untreated post-hydraulically fractured water down the municipal sewer system in Windsor, Nova Scotia.