Anti-fracking activists across Canada took to the streets Monday to answer a rallying call by the Elsipogtog Mi’kmaq First Nation who called for an Emergency Day of Action protesting assault on native lands and right to protest. After a series of weekend anti-fracking blockades, where members of the Elsipogtog community and their allies faced off against energy company SWN Resources in New Brunswick; supporters of the indigenous protest movement rallied outside the Canadian parliament in Ottawa.
Elsewhere, answering a call by the activists known as the “Highway 11 Land Defenders,” supporters across the globe expressed their solidarity in the ongoing battle between the fossil fuel industry with the backing of the provincial government and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) with those who are stepping up to protect the land.
“[The Elsipogtog] are standing up against brutal police repression, continued theft of Indigenous lands and ongoing colonization. Show them they are not alone!” the protesters wrote on their website. “Where possible, highway shutdowns are encouraged, however, any action of support, such as banner drops, are welcome. #ShutDownCanada” Ahead of the rally, supporters flooded twitter with pictures of banners and other shows of solidarity. Further, supporters erected a morning blockade at the Port of Metro Vancouver and “photo-bombed” a local news broadcast where Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was interviewed Monday.
In the New Brunswick capital of Fredericton, protesters gathered outside the New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench where drilling company SWN Resources is seeking an extension to the temporary injunction originally granted on November 22, 2013. The injunction prohibits protesters from coming within 20 meters from the side of roads where the company is working and 250 meters from the front or back of its trucks. Meanwhile, along New Brunswick’s Highway 11, protesters braved cold, slushy weather in their ongoing standoff against the RCMP and SWN Resources trucks. Demonstrators tweeted early reports of arrests and said “the RCMP are going crazy.”
“The struggle against exploitations, especially in indigenous lands, is growing. Everywhere the dominant culture demands more land, more resources, at the expense of the locals and the rest of nature. And everywhere, we fight back,” wrote a coalition of Northern European environmentalists and indigenous groups. The environmentalists and indigenous groups have fended off the opening of new mines in traditional reindeer herding areas. They gathered in Sweden on Monday to show their support for Elsipogtog’s struggle.
“Your fighting spirit gives us hope and inspiration,” they added. “Same struggle, different battles.”
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