Support pours in for Mi'kmaq at fracking blockade after police attack

 

Support pours in after First Nations defending land are attacked with snipers, police dogs and tear gas

 

 

By Brenda Norrell

ELSIPOGNOG, New Brunswick -- Support poured in for Mi’kmaq after police attacked First Nations women and elderly with heavily-armed snipers, pepper spray and police dogs on Thursday. At least two unarmed Mi'kmaq were shot with rubber bullets during the predawn raid. Forty people were arrested and jailed.

Natives were defending their land from a Houston fracking company, Southwestern Energy. The support came from every avenue, from the American Indian Movement and the Longest Walk to a Nez Perce council member, First Nations and the Council of Canadians.

Anishinabe Terrance Nelson called for railroad blockades across Canada and urged warrior societies to take action in support of Mi’kmaq. “I expect railway blockades to occur immediately across Canada and they will continue until the Federal Government of Canada comes to their senses. I expect to be arrested along with many others,” said Nelson, vice chairman of the American Indian Movement.

In Winnipeg, First Nations marched through the streets and in eastern Canada, Six Nations began a highway blockade in solidarity.

Nez Perce Council member Leotis McCormack, recently arrested protesting tarsands heavy hauls across sovereign Nez Perce land in Idaho, sent a message of support to Elsipognog. "My prayers and heart are with you all. We as council were arrested also three months ago standing against these corporations. Standing with you in solidarity."

Sharon Heta, Maori, walking across America on the Longest Walk 4 Return to Alcatraz for Indigenous sovereignty and Native rights said the walkers, now in Colorado, were there in spirit, in solidarity.

“Sendings prayers and blessings to the Indigenous Peoples of the Elsipogtog First Nation, supporters and allies as they stand to resist and assert their Indigenous sovereignty to the care and protection of their lands and waters. The Longest Walk 4: Return to Alcatraz supports and walks in prayer in the struggle and defense of indigenous sovereignty.”

Alex White Plume, Lakota on Pine Ridge in South Dakota, shared this Honor Song "for our northern relatives taking a stand for Unci Maka (Mother Earth.)"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67EhRhewnp8&feature=share

First Nation Grand Chief Stewart Phillip and Chief Bob Chamberlin released this statement."The UBCIC Executive and the UBCIC Chiefs Council stand in full support with Elsipogtog community and leadership in their defence against fracking and shale gas development within their territories.“This could easily happen in any First Nation community across Canada and in particular in British Columbia and today, we stand in complete solidarity with the Elsipogtog people to express our full support and continue our mutual fight against the devastating and destructive practices of resource exploration and extraction activities within our territories.

"This display of brute force is completely ugly, outrageous and harkens back to the Oka, Ipperwash and Caledonia conflicts,” stated Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the UBCIC.The Elsipogtog First Nation has been protesting energy company SWN Resources outside Rexton, New Brunswick.  In spite of best efforts of Elsipogtog Chief and Council to resolve this issue peacefully, the heavily armed RCMP aggressively moved in today to enforce an injunction.

“Canada cannot continue to viciously cast aside our Aboriginal Title, Rights and Treaty Rights. In light of Dr. James Anaya’s, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, recent visit to Canada, this type of severe action by the RCMP reflects a government that continues to ignore Indigenous land rights – our human rights – to pretend it has a productive relationship with Indigenous peoples founded on reconciliation and respect” said Chief Bob Chamberlin, Vice-President of the UBCIC.

We await the call from the Elsipogtog for all Indigenous Peoples to mobilize and organize solidarity actions across the country."

Dene Nation in Yellowknife called for Solidairty with the Elsipogtog.

The Dene Nation stands in full support of the Elsipogtog community and leadership in their defence against fracking and shale gas development within their traditional territory. “We stand in complete solidarity with the Elsipogtog people to express full support and continue their efforts for developing an energy plan for their territory” states Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus.

The Elsipogtog First Nation has been protesting the energy company SWN Resources outside Rexton, New Brunswick regarding fracking and shale gas development for the last month. Fracking, also called hydro-fracking is a relatively new process of natural gas and oil extraction. Fracking is fundamentally different than traditional gas & oil extraction methods. Fracking wells go thousands of feet deeper than traditional natural wells. Fracking requires between two and five million gallons of local freshwater per well - up to 100 times more than traditional extraction methods. Fracking utilizes "fracking fluid," a mix of water, sand, and a cocktail of toxic chemicals. The amount of wastewate produced by fracked wells is much greater than traditional wells.

“We understand the local Chief Arron Sock is meeting with Premier David Alward later today on the issue. We are pleased with that. However, this is a nation to nation treaty issue and the crown has to be upfront and responsible” said Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus. In addition, “the RCMP and security need to provide safety and security as they did at treaty time. They have to promote peace, order and good government”.
We await further information from the Elsipogtog Peoples to organize solidarity actions for their people.

(Photo above on right shows the young woman with the eagle feather being pepper sprayed after she stood before the police line, photo below.)
Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians, who was recently in New Brunswick, said, “Watching the day’s events unfold online was shocking. I met with the Elsipogtog leaders not long ago and know they are committed to peaceful resistance to stop the destruction of their land and water and what they do is in all of our names. We stand in solidarity with the people fighting to protect the water and the land."

Angela Giles, Atlantic Regional Organizer, said, “To defend the rights of an American company, the RCMP came in with essentially para-military units including snipers, to remove the opposition. The New Brunswick government does not have the social license to allow fracking and the people will continue to fight for the future of their families, their province, and the environment.”

“Protesters in Rexton are standing up to a Texas company that wants to profit on the backs of New Brunswickers while placing the water and the environment at risk,” says Emma Lui, Water campaigner based in Ottawa.

“Indigenous communities like the Elsipogtog First Nation are on the frontlines of defending water and the land for everyone, and this should not be criminalized.”

The Council of Canadians has supported the blockade.

Photos

The photos that flashed across Twitter all day told the real story that the mainstream media was concealing.

Below, women face off with police at the anti-fracking blockade. Next, snipers hover; women hold their drums in defense when faced with snipers rifles, tear gas and police dogs; Elsipognog Chief Sock and Band council members are arrested; and a lone First Nations woman stands in defense of Mother Earth. Next, a Canadian police officer chokes a young Mi'kmaq man. In the final photo, a youth photographer looks directly at an armed sniper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More photos of today: http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2013/10/police-attack-new-brunswick-anti-frack.html

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About Brenda Norrell

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 34 years. She is publisher of Censored News, focusing on Indigenous Peoples, human rights and the US border. Censored News was created after Norrell was censored, then terminated, by Indian Country Today after serving as a longtime staff reporter. Now censored by the mainstream media, she previously was a staff reporter at numerous American Indian newspapers and a stringer for AP, USA Today and others. She lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, and then traveled with the Zapatistas. She covered the climate summits in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.

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About Brenda Norrell

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http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com/

Biography

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 34 years. She is publisher of Censored News, focusing on Indigenous Peoples, human rights and the US border. Censored News was created after Norrell was censored, then terminated, by Indian Country Today after serving as a longtime staff reporter. Now censored by the mainstream media, she previously was a staff reporter at numerous American Indian newspapers and a stringer for AP, USA Today and others. She lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, and then traveled with the Zapatistas. She covered the climate summits in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.