Yesterday and today we celebrate with Elsipogtog First Nation after the Court of Queen’s Bench decision to lift Southwestern Energy’s (SWN) injunction! This injunction was filed by the Texas based company to end the blockade protecting Mi’kmaq traditional territory from fracking.
For the last three years, the Mi’kmaq people in New Brunswick have proclaimed their right to consultation regarding shale gas exploration, commonly known as “fracking”, and have been part of a series of peaceful actions to protect their unceded territory. On Thursday Oct 18th, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) violently attacked their peaceful encampment.
Activist Suzanne Patles, one of those named in the injunction, said she believes the ruling from the judge sends a direct message to the energy company to stop their exploration activities and leave the province.The Elsipogtog protest was part of a larger campaign against fracking in New Brunswick encompassing 28 organizations. The 40 people arrested included most of the Elsipogtog First Nations leadership, including Chief Aaron Sock.
There was a press conference the morning of Oct 21st in Elsipogtog where people involved on the frontline shared their experiences of last weeks violence. The people of Elsipogtog are debriefing with the community about Thursday’s RCMP raid, and continue to discuss the next steps and development of a community process to move forward in protecting and defending their land and water against fracking.