From RT.com – October 19, 2013
Thousands of people worldwide are expected to join the Global Frackdown protest on October 19. ‘Fracktivists’ from over 20 countries will gather to demand an end to fracking and “dangerous” shale gas drillings.
Numerous events are scheduled to take place mainly across the US and Europe. The global movement will be also joined by activists from Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and Indonesia. So far, a total 26 countries are listed to be taking part in the protest.
“Climate scientists warn that continued extraction and burning of fossil fuels will lead to catastrophic climate change,” the Global Frackdown protest organizers said in press release.
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the extraction of oil and gas by injecting water to break rock formations deep underground.
Fracking a single well can require between two and nine million gallons of water combined with sand and chemicals. Much of the used water returns to the earth’s surface, but contains radium and bromides – cancer-causing, radioactive substances. The toxic chemicals can then float into lakes and rivers or contaminate the ground.
On Saturday, Fracktivists in all participating countries will call on elected officials to open their eyes to the consequences of fracking, which they say is a risky technique. They will demand action to protect the public.
“It is critical that our elected officials hear the truth from their constituents,” the organizers said.
Police Arrest 40 as Canada Shale Gas Protest Turns Violent
By Julie Gordon, Reuters – October 18, 2013
(Reuters) – Police in the eastern Canadian province of New Brunswick arrested about 40 people on Thursday after efforts to dismantle a highway barricade turned violent and protesters against shale gas exploration set several police vehicles on fire.
The incident came in response to a weeks-long protest by activists and local aboriginals, who blocked a road near the town of Rexton to try to slow work by SWN Resources Canada, a subsidiary of Southwestern Energy Co, which is exploring shale gas properties in the area.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) moved in early on Thursday to break up the blockade. They said officers were attacked with Molotov cocktails and at least one shot was fired, but not by them.
Susan Levi-Peters, the former chief of the nearby Elsipogtog aboriginal reserve, said the police had moved in aggressively on unarmed protesters.
“The RCMP is coming in here with their tear gas – they even had dogs on us,” she said. “They were acting like we’re standing there with weapons, while we are standing there, as women, with drums and eagle feathers. This is crazy. This is not Canada.”
Levi-Peters said six police vehicles were burning in the street and the Elsipogtog chief and some of the reserve’s council members had been arrested.
A police spokeswoman was not immediately available to confirm the arrests, but pictures of Elsipogtog chief Aaron Sock and two others being escorted away by police were posted on Twitter.
The RCMP said dozens of people were arrested on various charges, including weapons offences, mischief and refusing to abide by the court injunction.
“The RCMP has worked diligently with all parties involved in hopes for a peaceful resolution,” said Constable Jullie Rogers-Marsh. “Those efforts have not been successful. Tensions were rising and serious criminal acts are being committed.”
Members of the Elsipogtog reserve have long opposed SWN’s efforts to explore for gas in the region. They want a moratorium on shale gas exploration and say the company did not consult them before starting work.
Their efforts have been buoyed by the “Idle no More” movement, a grassroots effort to bring more attention to the poor living conditions on native reserves and to help aboriginal communities gain more control over natural resource projects.