For Immediate Release:
h3. Solidarity March in Victoria for Elsipogtog
h3. Friday, October 18th at 11:00am at Centennial Square and marching to Parliament.
CALL FOR DONATIONS:
Non-parishible foods, camping supplies and financial donations are being collected tomorrow at the rally and also at Vancouver Island Public Interest Research Group at UVic in the Students Union Building. There is a caravan heading east to the Mi’kmaq blockade leaving Friday evening.
Staff will be at the VIPIRG office until 5:30pm today (Thursday) and from 9am tomorrow (Friday). Money donations can also be slid under the door of B120 in the SUB.
“On the morning of October 17, 2013, approximately 200 RCMP – some dressed in military fatigues and armed with snipers – stormed a Mi’kmaq anti-fracking blockade and camp near Rexton, New Brunswick. Journalist Miles Howe, on site, described the situation as “RCMP having their guns drawn.” RCMP have confirmed at least 40 arrests, with reports of Elsipogtog Chief Arren Sock as well as Mi’kmaq Warriors being targeted. Media reports have also been pouring in of people being tasered, having police dogs set on them, and rubber bullets being fired – including at young children.
According to eye witness Susan Levi-Peters, “There are people who have been tasered…It’s Oka all over again and it’s sad because we said all we need is public consultation…These Warrriors, they are not militant. They are youth and they have had enough…The blockade was being mounted with drums and feathers.”
Since the summer Mi’kmaq residents, as well as anglophone and Acadians, have confiscated fracking equipment and blockaded the road leading to an equipment compound leased to South Western Energy or SWN. SWN is a Texas based energy company that has been attempting to conduct natural gas exploration in the area’s shale formations. If significant deposits of gas are found through seismic testing, SWN would then employ the highly-polluting and water-intensive extraction method of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, to extract natural gas deposits from shale gas formations.
While industry sells fracking as a “green transition fuel,” Robert Howarth from Cornell University, says it clearly: “Shale gas is worse than conventional gas, and is, in fact, worse than coal and worse than oil.” A number of doctors, including the the New Brunswick College of Family Physicians, have called for a moratorium on fracking. Various jurisdictions, including France, Quebec, and New York, currently have moratoriums on fracking.
Last week, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services hand-delivered a request to SWN Energy’s head office in Houston, Texas. TSolidarity March in Victoria for Elsipogtoghe request, on behalf of the Mi’kmaq, was for “all projects, leases, and permits issued to SWN Resources by the Government of New Brunswick come to a halt until all Mi’kmaq-L’nu, and Wabanaki communities, as sovereign individuals are Meaningfully Consulted, and that we are able to come to an informed decision as individuals.”
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