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Battle in Canada: First Nations v. Frackers

Mi’kmaq protestors in Rexton, New Brunswick faced violent Royal Canadian Mounted Police response.

The RCMP assault featured tear gas, rubber bullets, snipers stationed nearby, and the arrest of 40 First Nations people, including  Chief Aaren Sock of the Elsipogtog.  Protestors burned several police cars.  The police were enforcing an injunction against the on-going protest.

The Mi’kmaq oppose hydraulic fracturing to extract shale gas.  See the video by the Indigenous News Project.

One protestor suffered serious burns when his sleeping bag was engulfed in flames.  Acting with callous disregard, the RCMP reportedly refused to allow an ambulance access to the burn victim.

A petition is circulating to end police violence against peaceful First Nations protests, sign at “Tell the RCMP: Don’t violently intervene in peaceful First Nations protests

James Anaya, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for the rights of Indigenous Peoples, has characterized the situation of First Nations peoples in Canada as a crisis (here is Anaya’s full report).

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