NEWS

Tensions rising as shale gas protesters set up new camp

11/14/2013 10:13 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST
The number of protesters, SWN Resources employees and police officers is on the rise in Kent County, as seismic testing continues in the area.

Tension is building as opponents to shale gas exploration and development have set up a new camp on Highway 11 near the community of Laketon, near Kouchibouguac National Park.

One person was arrested Thursday morning, said RCMP Cpl. Jullie Marsh-Rogers.

SWN Resources has begun the next phase of exploration and on Wednesday more than 30 protesters had gathered.

There was also a strong police presence with 20 police cars in the area.

Protester David Goodswimmer of Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation in Alberta said on Wednesday they were going to wait for the seismic trucks to pass, and when they did they would not stand back and watch.

"We're going to do everything in our power to either stop it or prevent it from happening," Goodswimmer said.

"Some of us are willing to go to jail, some more than others, and I've even heard around the fires, 'I'm even willing to die for my land.'"

Other protesters, including Judd Poulette of Cape Breton, stressed the demonstration would be peaceful.

"We can't really do much about it … We all promised peaceful protests. That's all I can say."

SWN Resources employees had been laying geophone lines used in their testing, but late Wednesday afternoon they removed all of the equipment that was near the new camp.

RCMP officers also visited the site and tried to talk with some of the protesters, who told officers they were upset about what was going on.

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