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Fredericton Council chapter joins highway protest against fracking trucks

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The Fredericton chapter at yesterday's protest against fracking.

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CTV reports, "Opponents (are stepping) up efforts to stop shale gas exploration (in New Brunswick), mainly over concerns about what it could do to drinking water. Protesters returned to Route 126 near Moncton on Friday, two days after three demonstrators were arrested at the site."

The Council of Canadians Fredericton chapter was present at Friday's demonstration. Protests have been held every day since thumper trucks appeared on the road on Tuesday. Protesters have been stopping these trucks from doing seismic testing for SWN Resources in Kent County.

CTV also reports, "Susan Levi-Peters of the Elsipogtog First Nation says it's a matter of not being consulted about shale gas exploration in a meaningful way. …Maxime Daigle owns a property close to where the seismic testing is headed. Daigle says the government does not have a social licence to issue exploration permits. …Ronald Babin, an environmental sociology professor at University de Moncton, says the public is growing increasingly concerned about the issue. …Dr. Leo Picard, a doctor at the George Dumont Hospital in Moncton, says the medical community has serious concerns about fracking and he had hoped to see more attention paid to a report by the province's chief medical officer. …(And) Brad Walters, a professor of environmental studies at Mount Allison University, predicts the number and size of fracking protests will only increase. 'A combination of things coming together here…there is this network of over 30 groups across the province who are talking to each other and are very strongly opposed to shale gas development', says Walters."

In December 2011, the government of New Brunswick rejected a moratorium on fracking in the province.

Professor Walters expresses opposition to fracking (note our 'Don't Frack Our Water' placard on his desk).

Earlier this week, CTV also reported, "(On Wednesday), protesters blocked seismic testing trucks and police set up road blocks for several kilometres around the site, tying up traffic for several hours. …(And now) the actions of the RCMP are under scrutiny after officers arrested three people at the protest outside Moncton… Protesters say their demonstration was peaceful, the police presence was excessive and their use of force was unnecessary. …Police arrested a man from Kent County and a woman from Elsipogtog First Nation, both in their 40s. They have since been released but are due in court on August 1 to face mischief charges. A 16-year-old boy from St. Mary's First Nation was also arrested. He has since been released without charges."

The Council of Canadians extends its full solidarity with these protests. Atlantic organizer Angela Giles sent a message to yesterday's protest that said, "We share your grave concerns about the impacts of fracking on water, the need to protect Mother Earth and support use of your treaty rights. Every community has a right to say no to fracking."

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