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Activist ties self to geo-phone bags, SWN refuses Sundance break, another illegal security blockade

Interview with 'Pochahontas', Elsipogtog resident who tied herself to heli bags

by Miles Howe

Pochahontas on heli bags. [Photo: M. Howe]
Pochahontas on heli bags. [Photo: M. Howe]
Activists and industry. While SWN-contracted workers load geo-phone bags, one man waves New Brunswick flag. [Photo: M. Howe]
Activists and industry. While SWN-contracted workers load geo-phone bags, one man waves New Brunswick flag. [Photo: M. Howe]

ELSIPOGTOG, NEW BRUNSWICK - An early morning discovery of SWN Resources Canada's helicopter launching area - where bags of used and unused geo-phones are pick up from already tested areas and dropped at areas yet to be tested - led to a temporary work stoppage, as a woman identifying herself as 'Pochahontas' tied herself to several of the helicopter bags.

 
The launching pad, which is approximately 19.5 kilometres north of Salmon River Road along 'Irving Road', was subsequently surrounded by RCMP officers. Rather than arrest 'Pochahontas', a peculiar negotiation process began. After arbitrarily clearing the area of some activists, but allowing others to remain with 'Pochahontas', the RCMP encouraged the seated woman to peacefully leave the area.
 
After offering tobacco to several RCMP officers - and making them promise to "stop hurting her people", Pochahontas was allowed to freely walk away from the scene. All in all, helicopter pick-ups of geo-phones was delayed by approximately 45 minutes.
 
Sundance Break Refused
 
SWN Resources Canada has refused to take a 4 day break in respect to the traditional Sundance which is now taking place at Elsipogtog First Nation. Sundancers will do without food or water for 4 days and will be in a continuous state of prayer. Elsipogtog War Chief John Levi, himself a Sundance leader, along with many of the men from Elsipogtog and surrounding First Nations communities, are currently taking part in the ceremony.
 
Another Late Night Illegal Road Block
 
In what is now recognized as common practice among activists familiar with the anti-shale gas protests in Kent County, late last night two Industrial Security Limited trucks performed an illegal roadblock on a woman driving alone in a car along a pubic roadway. Serena Francis, an Elsipogtog elder - having already been given permission by Officer Brian Paul to meet other activists stationed further down a dirt road - was arbitrarily halted  and boxed in by two Industrial Security Limited trucks. Francis, fearing for her own safety, immediately called 911. This morning Francis filed another in what is becoming a growing stack of complaints against the Irving-owned security service.
 
Please enjoy the following interview with 'Pochahontas', taken after she had tied herself to helicopter bags.
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