SWN trucks leave area of shale gas protests in New Brunswick
LAKETON, N.B. – A crowd of people cheered as seismic testing trucks left the scene of a protest against shale gas exploration near Laketon, N.B. on Thursday afternoon.
Thumper trucks from SWN Resources arrived Thursday morning to begin seismic testing as part of the company’s efforts to explore the province for shale gas.
Police say while the protest was peaceful, one woman was arrested for mischief, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer.
RCMP had blocked Highway 11 because of the demonstration earlier before re-opening the road to traffic.
Protesters presented a letter from a legal adviser they say is an order for police not to aid SWN’s operation.
“Basically what the letter means is anything the police do or interfere with any of our actions today, they’re aiding and abetting this company in an act of treason,” one protester told Global News.
Protesters had been gathered in the area for the past few days in anticipation of a resumption of shale gas exploration by SWN Resources. On Wednesday, when a security guard hired by SWN arrived, police had to move to settle angry protesters. The security guard quickly drove off and more RCMP officers arrived on scene.
Last month, during a protest in nearby Rexton, 40 people were arrested and weapons seized when the Mounties enforced a court-ordered injunction to end the blockade of a compound where SWN Resources stored exploration equipment and vehicles.
The protesters say they’re concerned that shale gas exploration poses a threat to the environment.
The provincial government says it wants to forge ahead with a shale gas industry if it can be done safely.
with files from Shelley Steeves and The Canadian Press
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