Elsipogtog anti-fracking protests triggering angry online backlash
By Jorge Barrera
APTN National News
The ongoing, Mi’kmaq-led opposition to shale gas exploration in New Brunswick is creating an on-line backlash, with some calling for a counter protest in support of SWN Resources Canada which was forced to call off its planned work Thursday after facing dozens of demonstrators.
The calls for a counter protest were posted Thursday evening on the Facebook group, Say Yes to Natural Gas and Oil in New Brunswick.
“I think the people that move this country are fed up… Time for action (sic),” posted Tim Bamford, whose publicly available Facebook profile indicates he lives in Chipman, NB. “The intent would to be to go there in support only. If it escalated…Then that would force the govt hand to act…Trudeau would have shut this down before it started (sic).”
The comment was part of a 125 comment thread in response to a posted Twitter photo about Thursday’s protest on Hwy 11 depicting Elsipogtog residents and supporters stopping SWN’s trucks.
SWN turned back its thumper trucks after dozens of Elsipogtog residents and supporters confronted the machinery. The RCMP intervened, briefly shutting down Hwy 11 in an area about 46 km north of Elsipogtog First Nation.
One woman was arrested in relation to the protest and the RCMP is investigating several acts of vandalism against one of SWN’s trucks and some of its equipment.
The day’s events triggered a flurry of angry online reaction.
While Bramford’s call received some support, some posters worried whether they’d be able to muster enough people to make an impact.
“Your right tim show of real support is needed and we shall do it (sic),” posted Dan Richard, whose publicly available Facebook profile indicates he lives in Miramichi, NB.
“Good luck Tim Tim Bamford, we could hardly get 20 to show up at the leg building last year… But hey if there’s at least 50 going, IM IN! (sic)” posted Jason Chase, whose publicly available Facebook profile shows photos of a license plate from Nova Scotia.
It appears the pro-SWN protest never materialized and instead the discussion turned to taking out a newspaper advertisement.
“What if we all pitched in enough to take a full page ad out in the papers?” posted Peter Melanson, whose publicly available Facebook profile included a photo calling to “Frack Baby, Frack.”
The thread also revealed a high level of anger from local residents over the ongoing protest.
“Push clutch in, put transmission in gear, gently ease off the clutch, hammer down !!! (sic)” posted Kevin Cai, whose publicly available Facebook profile indicates he went to high school in Rogersville, NB.
“Good thing i don’t drive truck because i likely would have run over top of them (sic),” posted Stephanie Dawn MacLeod, whose publicly available profile indicates she lives in Saint John, NB.
“Run the maggots over.. take them out of there misery. Enough is enough!! (sic)” posted Adam Merrill, whose publicly available Facebook profile indicates he lives in Nova Scotia.
“Arrest everyone of them or bring in our army and deal with the warriors with real warriors…one law for all in this country (sic),” posted David Donahue, whose publicly available Facebook profile indicates he lives in Blackville, NB.
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