Images of burning police cars, riot police, and police snipers have fuelled solidarity protests in Canada and elsewhere after police moved on First Nation Indigenous protestors in Canada’s Atlantic coast province of New Brunswick on Thursday (October 17).
Differing versions of what happened come from the police and Indigenous protestors.
The protest over shale gas fracking exploration closed a highway. The blockade of SWN Resouces Canada’s exploration equipment has been up since September 28, with police observing the blockade. On Thursday they moved on protestors, saying the situation had become dangerous.
Susan Levi-Peters, a protester from the Elsipogtog First Nation and former band chief, says aboriginal leaders want the provincial government to consult with the aboriginal community about shale gas exploration and development in New Brunswick.
“It was a Supreme Court ruling there should be public consultation about accommodation and agreement with the government, saying there’s supposed to be public consultation, accommodation, before anything like this happened,” said Levi-Peters. “That’s all we’ve been asking.”
The Elsipogtog First Nation are part of the Mi’kmaq First Nations band government of the province of New Brunswick.
In the clash between RCMP police officers and protesters 40 people were arrested, including a reporter, and at least five police vehicles were destroyed by fire.
— Naomi Klein (@NaomiAKlein) October 17, 2013
Solidarity events were organized Friday in Canada and elsewhere, including Washington, D.C. Others are planned for Saturday.
Solidarity events list – here
Halifax Media Co-op – RCMP bring 60 drawn guns, dogs, assault rifles, to serve injunction on the wrong road – here
CBC News - Anti-fracking protest images spread far beyond New Brunswick origins – here
CBC News - Several N.B. shale gas protesters now charged after clash – here
SWN Resouces Canada website - www.swnnb.ca