Bernadette Augustine Statements to New Brunswick Commission on Hydraulic Fracturing Richibucto 15 Oct 2015

Bernadette Augustine Statements to The New Brunswick Commission on Hydrofracturing

Richibucto, New Brunswick October 15, 2015

I have some questions for you Commissioners. Who’s the boss?

My story is that when we were fighting the fracking, I did what I could to help to protect our water and our people, but I couldn’t do much from a wheelchair. What I saw, it hurt me so much.

My brother’s daughter is Juanita Augustine. She was just standing there in Rexton to support. Suddenly police were coming from the woods. My nephew started running away from them, but Juanita didn’t know where to run. The police shot my nephew Sonny with rubber bullets, and Juanita thought it was a real gun. They grabbed her, but her cell phone was on, so we know everything that went on. The RCMP threw her to ground, they really roughed her up, and hurt her arm, and handcuffed her, and put her in jail overnight. She was only a young teenager.

Why do these people act like that? Grabbing anyone like that who wasn’t doing anything, that’s crazy. You don’t do that to anyone. All anyone was doing was protecting the water. You have children and grandchildren. She’s here for them.

Did you know that people are scared to come to these meetings? They’re afraid to be put in jail. I asked many people to come here, but they’re afraid. No one wants to speak because of what they did to us. Juanita’s afraid too. But she will do anything to protect the water, the people.

It was not right, it was foolish shit that went on. I will stand for my grandchildren. If it ever happens again, I will be there. We didn’t expect it that time, it felt like Oka. I never saw anything so ridiculous, and I’m not going to let it happen here again.

This fracking is too foolish, and it’s all about money. I’ve got nothing to lose. I don’t want it to come back here again. Oka already happened in Rexton. And I don’t want those SWN people to come here. If you’re going to let it, you might as well kill us now.

I’m ashamed of what happened, but I’m supposed to be proud. I’m going to fight, I’ll do whatever has to be done. But there’s not going to be a next time, because we know better now.

Bernadette Augustine, Grandmother

Elsipogtog, Sikniktuk, Wabanaki-Mi’kmaq District 6


References:

Soooo…. I got arrested today” Facebook Video

URL: https://www.facebook.com/ShelseyJuanita/videos/10153353274385387/

“This video has gone viral. Some people sharing it don’t know the story behind it. There has been an anti-fracking protest taking place for a few months in New Brunswick. This protest has been supported by Acadians, Anglophones, and Mi’kmaq First Nations in the area. For about 3 weeks, protesters had blocked off the entrance to a compound where SWN (a fracking company) was holding their trucks and equipment. SWN got an injunction to have these protestors removed. Police had not enforced the injunction for several days. This night before this took place, the main van that was blocking the compound was removed. So it was no longer blocked. The injunction was for the entrance to the compound. In the dawn hours of that morning, over 200 RCMP with weapons drawn and U.S. military snipers with automatic assault rifles and K-9 units snuck onto the private property located across the road from the compound where the protesters were sleeping in tents. By this time it was mainly Mi’kmaq warriors (many youth) who were staying at the protest over night. They awoke to rifles and guns being pointed at them. They were no longer blocking the entrance to the compound, and the RCMP say they were there to enforce the injunction, but they made arrests on private property that was not listed in the injunction. Word got out quickly that this was happening and their families and community members came to support them, but they were met and stopped by a line of RCMP. People were screaming “my kids are in there!” as they heard shots being fired in the woods. Once the RCMP had the warriors on the ground and handcuffed, they stomped on their heads. Many of them are still in jail and they have concussions. One female warrior was released, and she had to go to the hospital after her appearance in court. One warrior who was shot in the leg with a rubber bullet is suffering from internal bleeding and may have his leg amputated. Where the supporters were trying to reach their family members, emotions were running high and RCMP began attacking these unarmed supporters. An elderly woman was praying with rosary beads when whe was pepper sprayed in the eyes. Mi’kmaq supporters prayed and sang with their drums and eagle feathers while RCMP used excessive force. They fired shots, and pointed assault rifles at unarmed elders, women, and youth. They fired rubber bullets at people. They pepper sprayed people. They used batons and riot gear to move the crowd. They would single out women when they were alone and throw them to the ground, man handle them and arrest them. One Mi’kmaq lawyer was thrown to the ground, man-handled and arrested while she was waving a white flag. All of this because they were trying to protect the water for future generations of ALL Canadians.” – Buffy Peters (my sister)

Facebook · October 17, 2013