No 927 Posted by fw, December 10, 2013
Owing to my woeful ignorance on this subject, I have turned to Wikipedia for this elementary clarification: the Elsipogtog First Nation /ɛlzɪˈbʊktʊk/, formerly called the Big Cove Band, is a Mi’kmaq First Nations band government in New Brunswick, Canada. See also: Mi’kmaq people.
“There were people that were willing to get arrested for the cause, for a good cause, save our water, stop fracking”— John Levi, Elsipogtog War Chief
Al Jazeera’s Fault Lines travelled to New Brunswick to ask why their fight caught fire, and find out what happens when Canada’s First Nations say no to resource extraction projects they oppose.
On October 17, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police raided a protest site set up by Mi’kmaq people and their supporters trying to prevent a Texas-based corporation from fracking.
The company had received rights to explore for shale gas by the province of New Brunswick.
The raid carried out by police, with dogs and automatic weapons, turned to chaos as residents of the Elsipogtog First Nation arrived to confront them. Police pepper sprayed the elders and fired sock rounds to control the crowd. Six police vehicles were set ablaze, and some 40 people were arrested.
It was the most spectacular eruption yet, of a struggle led by indigenous people to protect the land they say they have never ceded and water they consider sacred – a struggle that grew quietly for three years, and shows no sign of slowing down.