On September 11, 2013, members of the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society, “the Homeland Security of the Mi’kmaq Nation,” were tailed throughout Moncton, New Brunswick just before being swarmed by undercover RCMP agents. The warriors were on their way to the Crowne Plaza Hotel, where they were to going to discuss the situation around shale gas fracking on their ancestral lands with “Indian Act elected representatives”.
James Pictou and Annie Clair were arrested and charged. During Clair’s court appearance, Suzanne Patles, was arrested by 19 RCMP officers at the Moncton courthouse.
In accordance with their treaty rights, the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society appealed to the Canadian military to intervene in what they considered an act of hostility at the hands of the RCMP. According to a statement issue by the group, they sought the help of the Canadian military “to assist in the protection of the people against enemies both foreign and domestic” and that their refusal to protect the Mi’kmaq against the RCMP is yet another “violation of the Pre-Confederation Peace and Friendship Treaties.”
The statement continued: “The Mi’kmaq Warrior Society has sought to create peace with the RCMP but all requests for negotiations for peaceful resolution have been declined on several occasions.”
Broad resistance to seismological tests in search of natural gas intensified this past summer, as Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, Acadian and other peoples of the traditional territories of the Wabanakik set up an anti-fracking camp along Highway 126 near the Elsipogtog First Nation in Kent County, New Brunswick. In late June 2013, “booming sounds” in the middle of the night alerted and attracted residents of Elsipogtog to a forested site at which Southwestern Energy, guarded by the RCMP, were performing their seismological tests. The encounter concluded in people of the Elsipogtog First Nation confiscating the trucks and drilling equipment of Southwestern Energy.
Among many of the arrestees throughout the summer was Media Co-op journalist Miles Howe, who was arrested a week after asked to and declined becoming a paid informant for the RCMP.
Hydraulic fracking is a process of extracting oil and gas from shale rock by injecting high-pressure water and chemicals into the ground before drilling, a process far more destructive process than previous methods of crude oil extraction with high risks to groundwater supplies. Oil from ‘fracking’ is quickly replacing traditional methods of extraction: As of 2010, it was estimated that 60% of all new oil and gas wells worldwide were being hydraulically fractured.