Indigenous peoples in New Brunswick, Canada have been engaged in an extensive struggle to defend their land and resources from large corporations and extractive industries. In particular, SWN, a US based corporation, is looking to engage in exploration and testing for potential hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on Mi’kmaq and Elsipogtog territories. These practices have been shown to be highly devastating to the environment, and enrich the corporations involved while further impoverishing Indigenous people while poisoning the land and water.
In response, the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society alongside their people and allies have set up a blockade to prevent the SWN trucks from entering their land. They have been attacked on multiple occasions by the RCMP. As BASICS News describes, “Jim Pictou is a member of the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society, “the homeland security of the Mi’kmaq nation.” Today, the Mi’kmaq, whose ancestral lands span much of the Atlantic region of Canada, are at the center of a developing resistance to hydraulic fracturing – or ‘fracking’ in New Brunswick, the process by which high-pressure water and chemicals are injected into the ground to remove natural gas from shale rock. The resistance to fracking in New Brunswick has seen the development of a broad united front of native and non-native people.”
In the course of defending the land, several Warriors continue to be held as Political Prisoners by the Canadian state. They have been held in solitary confinement (now released from solitary due to mass support), taken from their cells, beaten, and abused for defending their land. They are asking for letters of support! Please write to: Coady Stevens, Aaron Francis, Germain Junior Breau, and James Sylvester Pictou at:
SRCC 435 Lino Road Shediac, NB Canada E4P-0H6
Further resources: BASICS News Interview with James Pictou: http://basicsnews.ca/2013/09/mikmaq-warrior-societys-jim-pictou-interview-mp3-streaming/
Warrior Publications, ongoing updates: https://warriorpublications.wordpress.com/
BASICS News on the struggle on Mi’kmaq territory: http://basicsnews.ca/2013/09/mikmaq-warriors-arrested-in-ongoing-against-fracking-in-new-brunswick/
The following statement is supported by Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network. Add your name online: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1A30etYTp9c7aplDQe4CmNP50Ift3izLPi3rQNwcSRvw/viewform
Palestinian Youth & Student Solidarity with Mi’kmaq Blockade
The Mi’kmaq Warriors Society and their allies at the blockade were attacked on October 17 by approximately 200 armed Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), who besieged the blockaders, releasing tear gas, tasering protesters, using police dogs and firing rubber bullets. At least 40 land defenders, including Elsipogtog Chief Arren Sock, Mi’kmaq Warriors, and reporters, have been arrested.
Indigenous people in Canada have faced genocide and crimes against humanity, including cultural genocide in residential schools, forced displacement, containment on reservations, controls on movement, and massive land theft and expropriation. They have been resisting for hundreds of years on their land, continually confronting settler colonialism and occupation.
As Palestinians, we also face a settler colonial occupier. We also face occupation, apartheid, resource exploitation, the destruction of our olive trees and the theft of our land and labour for a colonial settler project based on the dispossession, expulsion and oppression of our people. We are struggling to bring settler colonial rule to an end, along with the occupation and apartheid that it creates, and for the right of return of Palestinian refugees, expelled from their homeland for over 65 years.
The Canadian settler colonial state has been one of the foremost international supporters of our settler colonial occupier, Israel. Canada supported the partition of our land, and is now constantly heard in international arenas supporting Israeli wars against Palestinians and Arabs, attacking Palestinian rights, and labelling itself Israel’s best friend. Canadian state officials denounce Palestinian efforts to hold Israel accountable under international law for its crimes against Palestinians, the indigenous people of Palestine – at the same time that Canada attempts to quash and suppress international efforts by Indigenous people to seek justice, accountability and decolonization.
From Palestine to Turtle Island, we have one struggle, and we affirm our solidarity and common resistance!
Progressive Student Action Front (Palestine)
Palestinian Progressive Youth Union
Students for Justice in Palestine – National, ad hoc steering committee
Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights-UBC
Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights – Calgary Chapter
Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights at Western University
General Union of Palestinian Students – San Francisco
Students Against Israeli Apartheid at York University (SAIA York)
Students for Justice in Palestine at Brooklyn College
Students for Justice in Palestine at Rutgers University – Newark
Toronto Students for Justice in Palestine
Oberlin Students for a Free Palestine
Students for Justice in Palestine – Cornell University
Students for Justice in Palestine – Columbia University
Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign Vancouver
Minnesota Break the Bonds Campaign