Like the Rebels in Star Wars (Yes, I went there) native peoples are fighting back against the evil empire that would take their land and resources, and today Elsipogtog First Nation are declaring a people’s victory after a Canadian judge on Monday refused to stop the protesters blockading against fracking exploration in New Brunswick.
Their victory in court is small but meaningful when protesting has become increasingly outlawed, and viewed against five hundred years of outright theft and genocide against native peoples. Last week there was violent police crackdown on their fracking blockade, the group is celebrating the ruling and vowing to continue their mobilization against shale oil exploration in their territories.
“We were shot at with rubber bullets. Our elders were sprayed with pepper spray. People were dragged around on the pavement on the dirt. There was a lot of violation of human rights,” Levi told Common Dreams. “We are healing right now. There are a lot of people who need help.”The police crackdown sparked broad outrage and nation-wide protests and solidarity actions among indigenous and non-native communities. They also forced First Nation struggles against fracking into the international media spotlight.The court’s ruling against the injunction is a blow against SWN, which has aggressively moved to quell protests against its controversial shale oil exploration.”I think that the solidarity across Canada played a big part in the injunction being overturned,” Levi told Common Dreams. “We will keep protesting to discourage the SWN from coming in here and attempting to frack our lands and our territories. There was never any consultation with our people.”