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Barlow visits protest site in New Brunswick

Yesterday, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow, vice-chairperson Leo Broderick and Atlantic organizer Angela Giles visited New Brunswick to support the anti-fracking struggle in Kent County.

11:45 am ET

Maude Barlow has just Tweeted, “Leo Broderick and I are on our way to the protest sites of the Elsipogtog against SWN seismic testing. Snow storm here. Meeting Chief Sock at 2 and then go to the protest site. So proud of this resistance. First Nations standing for us all.”

Atlantic organizer Angela Giles is also en route in another car.

Maude took this photo just now of Leo driving. The photo of the gathering on the highway with a heavy RCMP presence is by Jacqueline Clair.

Leo Broderick

RCMP on highway

1:15 pm ET

Maude has arrived in Rexton, New Brunswick in advance of her meeting with Elsipogtog First Nation Chief Arren Sock. On October 17, the RCMP closed Route 134 at Rexton and Highway 11 between Rexton and Ste-Anne-de-Kent just before they attacked the peaceful blockade stopping the SWN thumper trucks. Chief Sock was among those arrested that day.

In a public statement at that time, Maude said, “Watching the day’s events unfold online was shocking. I met with the Elsipogtog leaders not long ago and know they are committed to peaceful resistance to stop the destruction of their land and water and what they do is in all of our names. We stand in solidarity with the people fighting to protect the water and the land.”

This is a photo by Angela of Maude just outside of Rexton.

Maude outside of Rexton

1:55 pm

Maude, Leo and Angela met with Lorraine Clair.

Maude, Leo with Lorraine Clair

On June 11, the Halifax Media Co-op reported, “Lorraine Clair and Susanne Patles, arrested on separate occasions on charges of mischief while engaged in prayer along highway 126 in Kent County recounted the events that led up to their arrest during a press conference. Clair in particular described the physical nature of her arrest by RCMP. Now wearing a cast over her right forearm, Clair noted that she has suffered extensive muscle and tendon damage as a result of her arrest. The two women also issued an open call urging supporters from all nations to attend the lighting of a sacred fire near Elsipogtog (and) Clair asked that those unable to attend light their own fires and pray in solidarity with the area’s anti-fracking efforts.”

2:50 pm ET

Maude notes that they met with Chief Sock and that they are on their way to one of the protest camps.

The CBC reports, “As SWN continued its seismic testing along Highway 11 on Sunday, those protesting against the work received a visit from Council of Canadians chair Maude Barlow. The well-known Canadian activist says the council fully supports protesters and called hydraulic fracking, the method of extracting shale gas, a ‘pernicious and terrible practice’. …Elsipogtog chief Aaron Sock said the visit is a morale boost for the community, and suggested there will be discussions on finding new strategies to combat shale gas exploration in the area.”

In this photo, Maude and Leo are meeting with Chief Sock.

Maude and Leo are meeting with Chief Sock

Maude Tweeted, “Great meeting with Elsipogtog Chief Sock. Heard horrible stories of police brutality, brought a message of national solidarity.”

3:10 pm ET

Maude and our team have arrived at the camp near Rexton. There are about 50 to 60 people present there now. The Media Co-op explains, “The camp, outside the Irving Compound on Highway 134 south of Rexton, had been the site of a three week peaceful protest that had kept five shale gas thumper trucks confined to the compound. …(On October 17), the Rexton camp (was) stormed by more than a hundred RCMP officers in riot gear, some with weapons drawn, and attack dogs…” The camp is clearly still there and the intention is to keep it as a presence throughout the winter. Several weeks ago we contributed a generator for its kitchen area plus floodlights, extension cords, and tarps.

In this photo, Maude meets with people at the camp.

Maude at camp near Rexton

She Tweeted, “Stopped at Rexton encampment. So moving. Told them they stand for all of us and we owe them so much. Heros and heroines all.”

To watch a video of Maude speaking there, please go here.