N.B. shale gas opponents say protests will continue despite court ruling
LAKETON, N.B. – The Elsipogtog First Nation may have lost a legal battle this week, but protesters say their war against shale gas exploration in New Brunswick is nowhere near over.
Yesterday, a New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench ruling denied the band’s injunction request to stop shale gas exploration on land the Mi’kmaq hold sacred. But some protesters are now more determined than ever to continue the fight against shale gas.
At the protest camp near Laketon Tuesday morning, the reaction to the judge’s ruling was one of widespread frustration. Protester Melissa Augustine says she is very disappointed in the ruling.
“I worry about it because the judge doesn’t seem to realize that the decision would have actually brought peace to New Brunswick.”
Language in last week’s injunction application suggested if SWN Resources were to continue its seismic testing in the region, it could lead to more violence. However, T’uma Bernard says they will remain peaceful and they won’t initiate a confrontation with either SWN or the RCMP.
“So far so good. Nobody has been hurt and everybody goes home. Everybody gets their voices out and that’s what it’s all about.”
Augustine says they will be peaceful if the RCMP are peaceful.
“The only violence that they are going to get is from their own side.”
There were no signs of unrest at the camp, but not far up the highway, there was evidence of vandalism: dozens of SWN’s geophones were ripped apart.
The company could not be reached to confirm whether that was the reason its trucks were not around on Tuesday, or when it will return. Its silence has left the community on edge.
RCMP confirmed they were monitoring the area as officers, residents and protesters wonder what will happen next.
“If the trucks come, let them come in. We’ll just slow them down like we did before,” said Augustine.
© 2013 Shaw Media