Sunday, August 6, a group of native and settler land defenders blocked access to Junex’s fracking drill pads Galt 4, 5, and 6 in Gaspésie on Mi’kmaq territory, land of the 7th district in Gespegawagi, 20 km from the town of Gaspé.
After securing funding from the Quebec government, Junex announced their plans to start unconventional horizontal drilling on this site in September.
In the heart of the forest, the land defenders set up a blockade, the “mountain camp”, and called for others to join in the struggle.
Gary Metallic, Sr., the 7th District Chief of Gespegawagi called for supporters to join the camp:
“We as the District Tribal Council members call for the support of these Defenders and for travel to the Gaspé protest site, we as Mi’gmaq peoples have a duty and obligation to also be the defenders and protectors of our Ancestral District territory. We cannot remain silent and condone any oil drilling within our territory that will poison our lands, waters, fauna and wildlife.”
Madonna Bernard, a Mi’kmaq land defender fighting a 100M$ Alton Gas storage facility on her territory also declared her support for the blockaders: “I applaud and stand in solidarity with them for their stance against Junex. We have the same fight against Alton Gas here in Sipekne’katik district in Nova Scotia. Treaty supersedes all other laws in so called ‘canada’ and it is time for all indigenous nations and allies in Turtle Island to come together and unite against canada the corporation to protect the environment and future generations.”
The river camp was erected in support of the occupation at the base of the access road by the 198.
After several days of police harassment, the SQ succeeded in taking down the blockade at the mountain camp and making one arrest.
A second camp has been constructed at the base of the access road beside the 198 highway. The River Camp is determined to continue the struggle against resource extraction and colonial expansion.
Urgent support and solidarity are needed for this ongoing struggle. Specifically financial support for the river camp and legal funds are immediately necessary. In the coming days material and physical support is needed. The river camp continues to welcome land defenders.
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