Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Double standards against Russia have no limits indeed


The Canadian police arrested about 40 environmentalists, who were protesting against shale gas production near Rexton, the province of New Brunswick. The arrested individuals may face life imprisonment. Environmentalists are rigidly pursued, not only in Russia, if they break the law. However, it is only Russia that gets criticized for that.

Local activists and Indians from Elsipogtog reservation have been holding the protest action for over two weeks already. They blocked a highway and arranged twenty-four-hour watch over the approach to the shale gas field, developed by SWN Resources Canada, Reuters says. Last week, protesters burned five police cars, and the police dispersed the picket line, and removed the camp. Mass arrests were conducted. A representative of the community of Indians, Susan Levi-Peters, told CBC Canada that the police acted aggressively against unarmed protesters, using tear gas and even dogs against them. "They were acting as if we were standing with guns, and among us there were mostly women with drums and children with eagle feathers. That's crazy. This is not Canada," said Peters.

Members of the community of Elsipogtog Reservation oppose the development of shale gas on its territory that is leased to the state. They call on the government to introduce a moratorium on the production, since no one has discussed the question with them.

In a press release, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said that more than 40 protesters were arrested for various reasons, including the use of firearms, threatening officials on duty, intimidation, bullying, and insubordination of court rulings. The use of firearms stipulates life imprisonment in Canada. 

Chief Aaron Sock was arrested as well. On October 1, he issued the eviction notice to SWN, telling the company to leave the territory of the reservation. The text of the notice said that the tribe was taking back the land from the state. The chief required reclamation of land and asked for a compensation for ecological damage. SWN told at a court hearing that the company was losing about 60 thousand dollars because of the protests every day. The situation remains difficult in the area of ​​the conflict; schools in the reservation are closed. The scandal risks to develop into a nationwide conflict, after the environmentalists and Indians received the support from the Assembly of First Nations in Canada. This is the most representative and influential organization of the Indians of the country.

"Please be informed that we are one of the first peoples of the country. And we are proud to stand in solidarity with you and your tribe," the Chief of the Assembly, Gabriel Atwin said, CBC reports. He drew attention to the fact that shale gas production was a crime against the environment and the Indians. The chief warned that clashes in Rexton would lead to protests across the country.

Soon afterwards, the government of French-speaking Quebec suspended the development of oil shale deposits in the valley of the St. Lawrence River for 30 months to determine full effects of the shale gas production by means of fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, The Globe and Mail said.

There are two interesting aspects in this Canadian story. The first one relates to Russia. When Russia tries to find justice for Greenpeace environmentalists, it causes severe criticism in the West. When it comes to similar cases in Canada, the actions of the police and the authorities are covered up.

"The hysteria around Greenpeace was not created by power structures. High-ranking officials refrained from comments, and it was indicative. Greenpeace is an organization of environmental blackmailers and terrorists. They got up the noses of the governments of many countries," Konstantin Simonov, the head of the department for applied political science of the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, told Pravda.Ru.

In his view, the case in Russia is not the toughest resistance that has been shown to the organization. One may recall the story of how the French authorities sunk the ship of Greenpeace when its crewmembers were protesting against nuclear tests at Mururoa Atoll. "Comparing that with the case in Canada, we again see the usual steps of the West against Russia within the framework of double standards," said the expert.

The second aspect of the story related to the growing resistance to shale gas and oil production in the world. The production process is a minor earthquake with the use of hazardous chemicals , resulting in severe pollution of ground and surface waters, air, not to mention other environmental problems. Nevertheless, this method of production is presented as a way to escape from Russia and Gazprom.

It has recently transpired that the profitable reserves in the United States are already depleted, and in 2013, there was not a single well for profitable extraction of shale gas left there. Many giant companies, including Chevron, rush to Europe, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and the Baltic countries, where local authorities welcome them with open arms.

Lyuba Lulko


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