Halifax Media Co-op

News from Nova Scotia's Grassroots

More independent news:
Do you want free independent news delivered weekly? sign up now
Can you support independent journalists with $5? donate today!
Advertisement

Halifax takes to the street in protest of RCMP actions in Elsipogtog

Hundreds march down Robie Street

by Robert Devet

Hundreds rallied in Halifax in solidarity with the anti-shale gas protesters in Elsipogtog, New Brunswick.  All photos by Robert Devet
Hundreds rallied in Halifax in solidarity with the anti-shale gas protesters in Elsipogtog, New Brunswick. All photos by Robert Devet
"We're talking about the land, we're talking about the water.  The human species is on its way out if we don't take a stand." Sherry Pictou, former Chief of the Bear River First Nation
"We're talking about the land, we're talking about the water. The human species is on its way out if we don't take a stand." Sherry Pictou, former Chief of the Bear River First Nation
"Let's keep our focus on what matters, and that is those treaties, this land, this water." Elder Billy Lewis
"Let's keep our focus on what matters, and that is those treaties, this land, this water." Elder Billy Lewis

K'JIPUKTUK (Halifax) - Close to three hundred people listened to speeches and marched down Robie Street on Friday in solidarity with the anti-shale gas protesters in Elsipogtog.

The rally, organized on short notice by a broad coalition of community activists, started at the Irving station on Charles and Robie, the scene of earlier rallies in protest of New Brunswick fracking, and disbanded on the Commons.

Many passing cars honked their horns in support.

"This is very important in the sense that we all witnessed what happened yesterday," said Sherry Pictou, former Band Council Chief of the Bear River First Nation, who spoke at the rally.

"It should make us question our right in terms of indigenous peoples and human rights in Canada, because obviously foreign corporate interests are being put above human rights and indigenous rights," said Pictou.

Poet Ardath Whynacht urged people of settler origin in the crowd to think deep and hard about these violations of human rights that occurred in Elsipogtog.

"If you are shocked, if you are surprised, identify and aknowledge that you have been granted the privilege of living in a place where you feel the state protects you," said Whynacht.

"Many people have been living a war between state forces and their own communities throughout Canadian history. So I urge everyone, as an ally in this struggle, if you are of settler origin, begin first with your own reaction, and take it to your family, take it to your friends, take it to your grandparents and your parents, and interrogate your own feelings of shock and disbelief."

Elder Billy Lewis told the demonstrators that the mainstream press will likely focus on the images of cars burning and miss the true story of what transpired.

"I am concerned that the discussion will be not on water, not on land, not on the sacredness of those treaties, it will be about violence versus non-violence," said Lewis.

"Let's keep our focus on what matters, and that is those treaties, this land, this water. And the answer is resistance, but the best resistance is the one we got right here. The more people we have, the better our chances. We've got all the enemies we can use, we need all the friends we can get," Lewis said.

Sebastien Labelle, a member of Solidarity Halifax, one of many groups and individuals that came together at short notice to organize the event, told the Halifax Media Co-op that he was pleased with the attendance.

"The issue has been getting a lot of attention in communities and among people who care about fracking, and who care about the treaties between the Crown and First Nations," Labelle said.

"But the media have done a very poor job of covering the issue. It is really sad that it takes something as dramatic and outrageous as what happened yesterday for the media to start paying attention."

For Lewis there is little question what needs to be done.

"So let's go out there and rally more and more people, because believe me, the answer is a hell of a lot of people, the more people we have the better off we will be."

"Because there is more of us then there is of those assholes."


Socialize:
Want more grassroots coverage?
Join the Media Co-op today.
539 words

Comments

Frackas in Elsipogtog

Those concerned with this topic may also be interested in my recent article for Rabble.ca, Frackas in Elsipogtog.

Thank you Halifax!

My wife and I spent an entire day at the Rexton encampment (Sat 19 Oct) because (like a few other anglophones who were there), we wanted to make sure there were white faces visible to the RCMP – the RCMP won't attack a large crowd with non-indigenous people in it – and so that the media won't twist this into an aboriginal issue.

I admire courage; and it empowers me to be near it.  So I took more from the experience than I gave. 

The people of Elsipogtog stood in the gap for me; next time I hope I can help protect an elder or a child ... I can at least try. 

Solidarity with the Elsipogtog First Nation.

Advertisement

User login


Google+
Subscribe to the Dominion $25/year

The Media Co-op's flagship publication features in-depth reporting, original art, and the best grassroots news from across Canada and beyond. Sign up now!