Environment Magazine

If First Nations Unite: Updates from Mi’kmaq Struggle

Posted on the 04 December 2013 by Earth First! Newswire @efjournal


from Earth First! Newswire

The Mi’kmaq struggle against shale gas fracking in Elsipogtog First Nation lands (New Brunswick) remains strong, according to Elsipogtog Chief Aaron Sock.

In a video interview with Idle No More organizer Clayton Thomas-Muller yesterday, Sock stated that if “First Nations people across this country” unite they could “stop anything.”

“We are basically at our limits in paying for… individual legal defense as well as band initiatives,” Sock confided, encouraging Idle No More to remain in solidarity.

On Monday, a nation-wide mobilization to “Shut Down Canada” saw protests popping off across Turtle Island, from the home of SWN Resources CEO in Houston, Texas, to the Port of Vancouver, BC, shutting down major infrastructure points and manifesting the popular expression of outrage over the prioritization of industrial extraction over water, land, and the health of the people.

“It makes me feel that we don’t stand alone and it keeps our morale strong, our confidence strong,” Sock declared. “The resolve of the people still remains.”

RCMP repression of the Elsipogtog struggle has been extremely intense since a mid-October raid in which snipers and attack dogs descended on a peaceful blockade, shooting plastic bullets and deploying pepper spray.

On Monday evening, an SWN truck ran into two female Elsipogtog elders, inciting protesters to set Highway 11 ablaze with burning tires.

Today, an Elsipogtog resident wearing a Santa Claus outfit was arrested at a peaceful protest.

While demonstrations continue a couple of miles north of the Mi’kmaq community, the Elsipogtog have also called for other forms of community, media, and legal support.

After nearly half a year reporting from the frontlines of the Elsipogtog struggle, journalist Miles Howe remains an important example of such support. After being targeted for arrest three times, Howe has been prohibited from coming within a one-mile stretch of all work sites, workers, and protests.

The RCMP have confiscated Howe’s camera and cell phone indefinitely in attempts to neutralize him. However, he insists that he remains committed to concentrating his “efforts on continuing to explore the ties that exist between various levels of government and industry.”


In another example of settler solidarity with the Mi’kmaq, the non-profit organization, Council of Canadians, roundly denounced the Canadian court’s injunction against the Elsipogtog blockade.

“We are extremely disappointed at the court ruling and outraged at the RCMP brutality,” explained Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “We are seeing the courts and the RCMP defending the interests of a private corporation over the interests of the people.”

Other acts that are encouraged include contacting the premier of New Brunswick, donating to the legal defense fund, and holding solidarity events in your town. Click here for details.


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