WERU News Report 11/12/13

Producers/Hosts: Amy Browne & Meredith DeFrancesco

Around 50 people braved the cold and rain on a busy intersection near the Bangor Mall on Sunday, in solidarity with the people of the Elsipogtog/Mi’kmaq First Nation in New Brunswick, who are engaged in a battle to protect their land from hydraulic fracturing, known commonly as fracking …

The Texas-based Southwestern Energy company (aka SWN) has been conducting seismic testing, (“thumping”) the earth, looking for possible sites to frack in New Brunswick. The Elsipogtog people in the area say that some of the testing is being done on land they never ceded by treaty – but they are quick to point out that this is not only their issue, as the impacts of fracking could affect everyone in the region. They and their non-native allies have drawn international attention and support for their campaign, especially following a violent police crack down last month, which resulted in 40 arrests. Several police vehicles were burned that day, and everyone we’ve interviewed who is involved with the resistance campaign has speculated that the police burned the vehicles themselves, as an agent provocateur tactic and/or in an attempt to undermine the high level of support for the protesters. Today 4 people remain in jail, and there have been unsubstantiated reports that they have been abused while in custody.
The solidarity rally in Bangor on Sunday drew people from the Penobscot Nation and across Maine, as well as New Brunswick, and a lot of supportive honks and waves from cars passing by – Meredith DeFrancesco and I spoke with some of the participants: