APTN National News
It’s a growing grassroots response similar to that of the IdleNoMore movement. Groups across the country are mobilizing Thursday after violence broke out on the anti-fracking protest line in rural New Brunswick.
First Nations people across the country are being asked to show their support for Elsipogtog protesters fighting a protest injunction being enforced by the RCMP.
At least four RCMP cruisers were burned in Rexton, NB, as chaos rages following a raid by heavily-armed front line officers backed by a tactical unit including police dogs on a Mi’kmaq-led blockade that has trapped exploration vehicles belonging to a Houston-based firm conducting shale gas exploration in the province.
APTN’s Ossie Michelin is reporting that RCMP officers are using sporadic volleys of tear gas to disperse the crowd that gathered near the blockade site after news spread about the police raid. Michelin said it appears police have lost control of the situation with smoke from the burning cars and tear gas drifting into the air about increasingly volatile situation.
The officers were initially met Thursday morning by members of the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society which has anchored the barricades for over two weeks. Images have emerged showing a Molotov cocktail thrown at the RCMP officers as they approached one of the encampments at the site.
Officers fired rubber bullets in the woods around the barricade and the RCMP has arrested Elsipogtog Chief Arren Sock and some of his councillors who went to the blockade site in solidarity. All were later releaed.
Tensions were high on both sides as the raid unfolded.
“Crown land belongs to the government, not to fucking natives,” APTN’s Ossie Michelin heard one of the camouflaged officers involved in the raid shout to protestors.
“Go back where the fuck you came from,” shouted one of the activists at the scene.
Dramatic images of the blockade have flashed across social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.
Video shot by M’ikmaq Warrior member Suzanne Patles showed RCMP officers moving in with dogs.
Support for the protestors quickly spread across the country.
In Listuguj supporters blocked the Listuguj bridge and a section of Highway 6 near Caledonia was closed Thursday by supporters from Six Nations.
There were reportedly small shows of support in New York City and Washington, D.C. outside the Canadian consulates.
Supporters and activists are issuing the call for peaceful action through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. PowerShift.ca has the most up-to-date list of events and adding more as they crop up. People are already promising to gather and light sacred fires in major cities like Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Edmonton tonight.
The creators of IdleNoMore in Lethbridge, Alta., said via Twitter they wasted no time in getting a group together to march down the city’s main drag Thursday afternoon. Its hashtag was popping up on Twitter alongside #ElsipogtogSolidarity.
Events are planned for the West Coast tomorrow.
More to come.