Peaceful fracking protest in Millbrook on Friday

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TRURO – A peaceful protest in Millbrook on Friday reiterated the passionate plea against fracking.

Millbrook’s Stacey Tabor was one of about 60 people who participated in the protest on Highway 102, near Millbrook, between Exit 13A and Exit 14, on Friday afternoon. One of the northbound lanes near the Truro Power Centre was closed, allowing the protesters to line the highway with their signs and flags.

“We’re here to prove a point that we are united and strong and are praying for” others who are fighting against fracking, Tabor said.

A number of people from Colchester County participated in yesterday’s protest in support of Rexton, N.B. anti-fracking protesters. Dozens of anti-fracking protesters were arrested on Thursday near Rexton, where police say protesters threw Molotov cocktails and set fire to police cars. The protesters say they were provoked by police when they were roughed up and doused with pepper spray.

Tabor told this paper she was at the Rexton protest on Thursday.

“When I got there it was a peaceful protest … but then there was a barricade by the RCMP … vehicles were set ablaze, police were in swat gear, there were snipers,” Tabor told the Truro Daily News. “I was told (by the police) to put my phone (with an in-built camera) away. I felt in danger. We were told to step back, and (the police) lined up in a row and started with pepper spray … they used way too much force, maybe to intimidate (people).”

Tabor said the incident made her think “we don’t have any rights as citizens whether you are native or not.”

She said thankfully the situation wasn’t volatile in Millbrook, which Tabor believes is in part to the fact “we have the support of community and have all native RCMP here.”

During the highway protest yesterday, many vehicles honked their horns in support of the initiative while many other travellers waved. Protest participants gave thumbs up signs, chanted “save our water, save our families” and handed out flyers to motorists who stopped.

Millbrook’s Tanya Sylliboy said she was participating because she has kids and “I want them to be able to grow up safely.”

Sylliboy said fracking affects everyone’s water and therefore all people should be aware of what’s happening in surrounding areas and provinces. Nova Scotia has a temporary moratorium on fracking, until mid-2014, but New Brunswick doesn’t.

Sylliboy said she believes the situation will continue to be contentious and is disappointed that in this day and age situations, such as in New Brunswick on Thursday, can get so out of control.

“It was sad. It sure does surprise me … you’d think it would be different” in 2013, she said.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Peter MacKay is calling for an end to any confrontations and the resumption of talks to resolve the dispute in New Brunswick.

Const. Jullie Rogers-Marsh said at least five RCMP vehicles were destroyed after they were set ablaze and at least one shot was fired by someone other than a police officer at the site of the protest. Protesters were arrested for firearms offences, threats, intimidation, mischief and violating the court-ordered injunction.

The RCMP began enforcing the injunction to end the blockade of a compound where energy company SWN Resources stores exploration equipment. Rogers-Marsh said police decided to enforce the injunction because threats had been made against private security guards at the site on Wednesday night.

- With files from The Canadian Press

Twitter: tdnMonique


MILLBROOK - Dozens of people are participating in a peace anti-fracking protest in Millbrook Friday afternoon.

The protest is northbound along Highway 102, between exit 13A and exit 14, and is not only making a statement against fracking, but as a stand of solidarity for those who participated in a peaceful protest that ultimately turned out to be a violent confrontation between aboriginal protesters and police in New Brunswick. Dozens were arrested and five police cruisers were torched after officers moved on demonstrators opposed shale gas exploration, also known as fracking. In Millbrook on Friday afternoon, traffic is pared to one lane for the safety of protestors and motorists. A detour via Trunk 2 at Exit 12 is also available. Drivers are advised to slow down, watch for pedestrians and proceed with caution.   Story developing ...

Organizations: Trunk 2

Geographic location: Millbrook, New Brunswick

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