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Prayers for Peacemakers, July 13, 2013

Epixel* for July 14, 2013
"How long will you judge
unjustly and show
partiality to the wicked?…"
Psalm 82:2

Prayers for Peacemakers, June 13, 2013

Give thanks that Warrior Chief John Levi of Elsipogtog was released on his own recognizance on Monday after an arrest for probation violations stemming from a June 21 demonstration in which Canadian police had arrested other people, but had neither arrested nor cited him.  The arrest seemed designed to do harm to Levi’s standing in his community.

 

 

ABORIGINAL JUSTICE: Warrior Chief John Levi released from custody


John Levi

Chief John Levi (photo by Greg Cook SJ)

Warrior Chief John Levi is free on his own recognizance.  After a hearing held on the Crown’s request to have him remain incarcerated, the presiding Judge ordered his immediate release with the stipulation that he remain 100 meters away from SWN corporation equipment or any of its subcontractors’ machinery and equipment. 

Many native and non-native people packed the courtroom to show their support; court officials permitted people to stand in the back as the seats filled up.  When Levi's case was called, and as he entered the courtroom, people stood in unison.  His supporters had also done so on Friday, 5 July, at the initial hearing.  A different judge heard the matter today, and he ordered spectators to remain seated, saying he would clear the courtroom if they did not follow proper court decorum.

ALERTA DE ACCIĂ“N DE JUSTICIA INDĂŤGENA: Apoyen l@s ayunadores de la Reserva IndĂ­gena de Elsipogtog.


ALERTA DE ACCIĂ“N DE JUSTICIA INDĂŤGENA: Apoyen l@s ayunadores de la Reserva IndĂ­gena de Elsipogtog.

Miembros de la Reserva IndĂ­gena de Elsipogtog iniciaron un ayuno, incluyendo agua, que durará hasta el 9 de julio de 2013. El ayuno tiene como objetivo pedir protecciĂłn y perdĂłn a la Madre Tierra por el daño que las pruebas sĂ­smicas que adelanta la CorporaciĂłn SWN para la exploraciĂłn de gas de esquisto le hayan causado al agua y la tierra.  

L@s ayunadores le están pidiendo a l@s miembros de ECAP y otr@s simpatizantes que ayunen con ell@s, o que cuando consuman comidas y bebidas oren para fortalecer a l@s que están ayunando. La semana pasada la Policía canadiense arrestó al Jefe John Levi, uno de los líderes del movimiento contra la exploración de gas de esquisto en Elsipogtog, y a Miles Howe, un periodista que se encontraba informando sobre la protesta.

ABORIGINAL JUSTICE: Elsipogtog First Nation members begin fasting ceremonies for forgiveness and protection to last until 9 July 2013

 

At Milliea’s request, CPT Aboriginal Justice Team members Chris Sabas and Robin Buyers began an accompaniment of the fasting ceremonies deep in the New Brunswick bush on Saturday, July 6th. “The women are fasting for forgiveness for the damage caused to the Mother—the land and the water—by the [test] explosions,” said Milliea. “The men are fasting for protection.”

Participants are committed to going without food and water for twenty-four hours or more in spite of up to forty-degree (104-degree Fahrenheit) heat and high humidity. “Water is life,” explained Milliea. “When a person commits to giving up water, they give up their life.” A sip of water, which will conclude the fast, marks the return to life.

Water is at the centre of community resistance to the presence of SWN in Kent County. While concern has been growing about water contamination by shale gas exploration and development for several years, the start of seismic testing by SWN, and the damage to the land that has resulted, has escalated tensions. Police presence in the region is highly visible.

At the same time, the Elsipogtog Mi’kmaq First Nation and their neighbours are building deeper alliances. While the fasting ceremonies took place in the bush, the Sacred Fire site hosted several hundred members of more than twenty faith and environmental groups for a 6 July rally and potluck.

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Fasts will continue until 9 July 2013.  The Elsipogtog community asks CPTers and other allies to support the fast by choosing either to fast themselves, or to serve as helpers, prayerfully eating and drinking with the intention of strengthening those fasting by taking in nourishment on their behalf.

ABORIGINAL JUSTICE: Elsipogtog Warrior Chief John Levi remanded to custody

Elsipogtog Warrior Chief John Levi was remanded to custody this morning on allegations of breach of probation, due to recent, suspicious criminal charges filed against him.

Levi had invited CPT’s Aboriginal Justice Team to accompany local efforts to stop shale gas exploration on Elsipogtog traditional lands.  A team has been present since Sunday 28 June, with more CPTers scheduled to arrive Saturday.

 DSCN1902
 Demonstrators at site of Howe's arrest

According to trusted sources within the community, the underlying probation stems from a conviction of fishing without a license on the Elsipogtog Reserve, Levi’s home territory, in 2011.  He is now facing two additional criminal charges, Mischief and Obstruction, due to allegations stemming from actions on 21 June, Aboriginal Day.

 On that day, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) arrested  twelve people who were protesting seismic testing in preparation for shale gas exploration on Elsipogtog traditional lands in Kent County, New Brunswick.  Officers neither arrested nor issued a citation to Levi on that day.  Instead, his probation officer summoned him Thursday 4 July, informing him that the RCMP had filed a breach of probation petition against him and that he must appear in court on Friday, 5 July 2013.  The RCMP officer who filed the criminal charges against Levi is the same officer who arrested and confiscated the phone and camera of Media Co-op Journalist Miles Howe on 4 July, and charged him with “uttering threats” and obstructing justice.