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BREAKING NEWS: Tense Standoff at Anti-Fracking Elsipogtog Blockade, Molotovs Thrown


Image from Twitter

Images from Twitter

A tense stand off is ongoing between 200 RCMP, Mik’maq blockaders, and about 200 supporters. According to the Stimulator, the chief and tribal council personally blockaded gas company trucks behind barricades. Protesters have hurled rocks and a corporate news tripod at the RCMP. At the moment, RCMP are making mass arrests, SWN vehicles appear to be rolling out of the compound, and six RCMP vehicles have been set ablaze.

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Molotov cocktails were thrown from the woods earlier this morning in defense of the land and peoples. The RCMP, some with long rifles, entered the woods. Shots were fired, and screaming was heard. There is an unconfirmed report that activist Steven Gould has been shot. (UPDATE: We are now receiving reports that less-than-lethal rounds have been fired at supporters, as well as tear gas. Pepper spray has been deployed against supporters attempting to get through police lines. The RCMP is currently unloading riot gear.)

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Supporters broke through police lines to join the Mik’maq (video here). The RCMP have erected a barrier on one side of the blockade, and appear to have the blockade surrounded. More people are coming to support with food and water.

Solidarity blockades have sprung up elsewhere in the Mik’maq territory. There are solidarity actions planned at the Canadian Consulate in NYC at 5pm and the Canadian Embassy in DC, as well as Vancouver and Winnipeg.

As of time of writing, arrests have been made, and there is at least one report of police brutality against Mik’maq warrior Suzanne Patles, an Ilnu woman and member of the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society. (UPDATE: It appears that mass arrests are currently being made.)

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According to the New Brunswick, Anglophone North School District, the RCMP did not notify them of the raid as is legally required. Schools are currently on lock-down.

The Mik’maq are blockading Highway 132 near Rexton to halt the activity on the compound belonging to a gas company, SWN Resources Canada. SWN Resources has been illegally trying to frack the land of the Elsipogtog for months, and the tribe has been joined by other tribes of the Mik’maq and Wabanaki Confederacy peoples in attempts to take direct action against the gas company.

epsilogtogfirecarAccording to Ellen Gabriel of the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation, “Forcible removal of Mi’kmaq on their traditional lands, [is] an illegal act by Police who should not enforce.”

Last week, a Canadian judge issued an injunction against the blockade, but the Elsipogtog have sought peaceful negotiation. Today’s raid must be seen as a preemptive action to prevent the October 18 day of action from taking place, which was called by the Mik’maq Warriors Society for physical support of the SWN blockade.

The demands of the Warriors Society are the following:

  1. Produce all Bills of Sales, Sold, Ceded, Granted and Extinguished Lands for New Brunswick.

  2. Produce documents proving Cabot’s Doctrine of Discovery.

  3. Produce the Treaty of Peace and Friendship 1686.

  4. Produce Treaty of Fort Howe 1768.

  5. Produce consents for Loyalists to land in Nova Scotia/New Brunswick.

  6. Produce records of Townships created and consents by Chiefs to allow this.

  7. Produce agreements or consents by all New Brunswick Chiefs who agreed to Confereration of 1867.

  8. Produce evidence of consents to The Indian Act by all Native Tribes.

  9. Produce records of Trust Funds.

  10. Produce agreements for 4% of all mineral shares of finished products in Canada, except coal.

  11. Produce all correspondence letters pertaining to Numbered Treaties (Promises).

  12. Produce all documents creating border divisions, that divide the Wabanaki confederacy.

  13. Produce the Orders from the Lords of Trade to the Governor of the Colonies.

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