ABORIGINAL JUSTICE: SWN temporarily halts seismic testing at Elsipogtog

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CPTnet
8 August 2013

ABORIGINAL JUSTICE: SWN temporarily
halts seismic testing at Elsipogtog

Elsipogtog
First Nation protectors and SWN Resources Canada (‘SWN’) have reached an
understanding that has resulted in an apparent temporary cessation of seismic testing.

 
  Elsipogtog Warrior Chief John Levi
  Photo: Miles Howe

Representatives
of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (‘RCMP’), Warrior Chief John Levi, former
Elsipogtog Band Chief Susan Levi, District Warrior Chief “Seven,” Elsipogtog
Peacekeepers and other community members held a meeting on 30 July with SWN.  SWN will detonate several un-exploded
shot holes located on seismic Line 5, but agreed not to continue seismic
testing and to remove the rest of their equipment. 

The
police will dismiss criminal charges against twenty-five of the thirty-five
people arrested since non-violent direct actions began in June.  Community members gave SWN until Friday
2 August to complete the agreed upon tasks.  A team of observers from the Elsipogtog community, including
eight scouts, three Grandmothers and two Elsipogtog Peacekeepers accompanied
SWN workers to monitor operations. 
SWN said it would return mid-September to continue seismic testing along
seismic Lines 3 and 4.

RCMP
and a representative from the Elsipogtog Peacekeepers subsequently debriefed
the Christian Peacemaker Team in Elsipogtog.  During the meeting, the team brought forth concerns and
observations regarding SWN operations along seismic Line 5.

The
team remains on site and continues to monitor reported sightings of SWN trucks,
including at least two reports of explosions at various points along seismic
Line 5 and discoveries of SWN equipment along the line.  SWN, however, through their attorney,
stated, “no field operations are currently underway in Kent County.”  The team also cannot yet confirm that the
police have dismissed charges against the twenty-five designated people.

Prior
to the announcement, Noel Augustine, Geptin of the Mi’kmaq Grand Council of the
Signigtog District, served SWN via registered mail a
notice of eviction
.  CPTers
James Loney, Jill Foster, Stewart Vriesinga and Chris Sabas assisted in the
drafting of the notice.

Regardless
of the status of SWN operations, the campaign continues.  Elsipogtog and other indigenous
protectors—including Acadian and Anglophone resisters—remain vigilant and vow
to continue peaceful, non-violent direct action when testing resumes. 

The CPT
team will remain on site and will assist protectors.  In addition, CPT has discerned after consultation and
agreement with Elsipogtog community members to bring the scheduled Aboriginal
Justice September delegation
to Elsipogtog.  A formal announcement
is forthcoming. 

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