Penticton and South Okanagan
Protest in Penticton
Oct 18, 2013 / 7:53 pm
A group of Okanagan Nation members held a peaceful protest in Penticton Friday. They were doing it to show support for those involved in the demonstration that turned violent in New Brunswick on Thursday.
The small group marched from downtown Penticton to the RCMP detachment, beating on drums and carrying a sign saying, "I support Elsipogtog Nation......No Fracking."
"We are drawing attention to the way the Canadian government and the RCMP were very heavy handed with the Elsipogtog yesterday, when they were protesting against fracking within their territory in New Brunswick," said Joan Phillip with the Penticton Indian Band. "They just went in with their shields, guns and rubber bullets."
The Penticton protest started around 3:30 p.m. in Nanaimo Square, with drumming, speeches and other demonstrations of solidarity.
Penticton Indian Band Chief Jonathan Kruger joined in to show his support for brothers and sisters in the east, he said.
"We don't support violence and disrespect from the RCMP on women, children and our elders," he said. "And we have to support the grassroots effort."
The group then marched down Main Street, they were supported by drivers honking horns and shouting words of encouragement.
At the RCMP detachment they gathered on the sidewalk holding hands and continued their protest. No one from the detachment came out initially to address the group.
Dozens of people were arrested Thursday after violence ensued when the RCMP began enforcing an injunction to end an ongoing demonstration against shale gas exploration in eastern New Brunswick.
According to the RCMP, molotov cocktails were thrown at officers and police vehicles were torched. First Nation witnesses say police pepper sprayed dozens of people, the chief was manhandled a little bit and all Hell broke loose.
Around 40 people were arrested on various charges, including weapons offences, mischief and refusing to abide by the court injunction.
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