#MIKMAQBLOCKADE: RCMP Respond to First Nations Fracking Protest with Arrests, Snipers

The RCMP responded to a First Nation’s protest against shale gas fracking in New Brunswick with arrests and pepper spray this morning. Reports from the clash show images of a highly-militarized police response to the blockade along Route 134 near Rexton, N.B. in front of a compound belonging to SWN Resources, a Houston-based company that recently performed seismic testing, a precursor to fracking, in the area.

The Elsipogtog Mi’kmaq First Nation has been protesting the development of the region’s shale gas resources for months. In June, the RCMP responded to the lighting of a sacred fire with arrests. Today, a reported 75 officers responded to the peaceful blockade to enforce an injunction, sending 10 officers in military fatigues with sniper rifles. Watch a video of the morning's events on this feed.

Elsipogtog councilor Robert Levi reported that “dozens” of people have been targeted with pepper spray. “The chief was manhandled a little bit and all hell broke loose,” he said.

Chief Arren Sock, pictured below, was apparently in custody, but according to Postmedia News, RCMP Const. Julie Rogers-Marsh could not confirm if any arrests have been made. *Update: Postmedia News is reporting that at least 40 arrests have been made.

In this video below, numerous heavily armed officers appear on the scene and a woman behind the camera asks a man in fatigues not to point his gun at her mother.

It appears numerous police vehicles were set on fire, with twitter reports claiming up to 14 cars are burning.


The Halifax Media Co-op is reporting that one of their writers, Miles Howe, may have been arrested.

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