Jun 252013

Solidarity Halifax stands in support of all those who have risked violence and incarceration to oppose natural gas exploration near Elsipogtog and Kent, New Brunswick. The bravery and sacrifice of those blocking SWN contractors and tending to the sacred fire are an inspiration to all those who oppose capitalist and colonial exploitation and the dispossession of common land in the name of private profits.

We deplore the provincial and federal governments’ willingness to sacrifice the environment and traditional ways of life to appease corporate interests. Allowing SWN, a Texas oil and gas company, and its partners to destroy New Brunswick’s water and land in the name of wealth accumulation is an assault on the commons and is a clear prioritization of the needs of the wealthy few over those who live and work in the communities around the possible well sites.

We oppose attempts by self-interested political leaders to negotiate profit sharing agreements with oil and gas companies. Like the protestors on the ground, we reject the political opportunism of elected leaders who have sided with corporations against the people of New Brunswick. No amount of money can justify the damage that fracking has wrought on communities across North America, and there is no way to safely or responsibly desecrate the environment for profit.

For a century the RCMP have diligently worked to protect the interests of capital by serving as their armed enforcers against Canada’s First Nations and working people. Given this history, the videos, photos and first-hand accounts from the Elsipogtog Nation are disheartening but not surprising. The role that Canada’s national police force has played in serving as an armed escort for trucks owned by a massive multi-national corporation make it clear that those who place a higher priority on the health of people and the land will find no assistance from Canada, the police, or our elected political leadership. The province of New Brunswick and the Canadian state prioritize profit over freedom of speech, human health and responsible environmental stewardship.

We recognize the disproportionate impact that fracking will have on the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet and we deplore the targeted arrests by the RCMP of Indigenous activists. The struggle in Elsipogtog is part of a larger history of Indigenous struggle which stretches back to contact and has been re-ignited by the Idle No More movement.  While this battle is currently being fought in a small corner of New Brunswick, the impact will be felt across the entire region. We are heartened and inspired by the multi-racial coalition which has sprung up to resist the intrusion of SWN and the RCMP onto traditional Mi’kmaq territory.

The events of recent weeks represent clear warnings. First, a warning to the people of Atlantic Canada that gas companies who use hydraulic fracturing have begun their assault on our land. Second, the police, political parties and most other alleged leaders will side with capital if profits are threatened. The resistance of the people of New Brunswick is also a warning to those in power: if you won’t fight against those who seek only to destroy in the name of profit, then we will.

Solidarity Halifax is a democratic, non-sectarian, anti-capitalist organization based in Halifax, NS. We oppose capitalism and all forms of oppression and work to create a more fair and equitable world free of exploitation.

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Jun 232013


A sacred fire has been lit and protests are underway near Elsipogtog, NB to prevent shale gas exploration and eventual “fracking.” Public calls of solidarity have been issued to activists, organizations and anyone concerned with the health of our natural environment.

NEW HALIFAX PUBLIC INFORMATION MEETING – 6:45pm, North Branch Public Library

Website for information, diretions and donations:
Sacred Fire: People United Against Fracking

Facebook groups for information and ride sharing:
Halifax Coalition Against Fracking
Shale Gas Alerts New Brunswick
“No Fracking Way” Transportation to NB – Elsipogtog First Nation
daily march for a Ban on Hydro-Fracking and No shale Gas in New Brunswick

Media Coverage:
Halifax Media Coop


Jun 142013

By Solidarity Halifax members Sébastien Labelle & Ben Sichel.

For months, the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children has been front and centre in the news. The suffering of former residents, the hesitancy of the provincial government to call an inquiry, the failure to lay criminal charges, and some tentative reflection on racism as a variable on the impact on the African Nova Scotian community have all entered the discourse.

This discourse has definitely needed to happen. But frankly, it’s not enough.

It’s time to ask what is not being discussed, and what we, the broader citizenry of Nova Scotia, need to do to be genuinely accountable for what has been done to vulnerable people in our name.

The issues of physical, emotional and sexual abuse from the 50’s up until the 80’s include the vast context of our collective history and views on power – power over many people marginalized by race, gender, nation and class.

Here, we need to recall not just the abuses at the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children, but also the treatment of residents at the Shelburne School for Boys, the Truro School for Girls, and the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School; the sexual abuse of children by priests in Catholic parishes and orphanages; and the horrendous trail of sexual power exercised by Cesar Lalo, a provincial probation officer for 20 years in Halifax.

These events and examples are not isolated, but part of a complex web of power dynamics which allowed silence, and passive (when not active) compliance with abuse.

It is easy for the larger “we” to condemn the abuses from on high, without examining this web, and the social, political, and cultural exercise of power during those years.

But it must be remembered that all these institutions operated in the public’s name.

We can, and should, name individual perpetrators of abuse. But it is too simple and too glib not to look at who was in charge.

The collaboration with wrongdoing has a collective dimension. Those who were in charge of our institutions (who were then, and to a great degree remain today, white, male, and privileged) were the same people we made heroes and lionized in our history books. The men in the news who were in charge of our child welfare and judicial institutions were the same ones who abused public trust when dealing with violence against women and children – and our correctional facilities were (and are still now) certainly not full of young people from the wealthiest Nova Scotian families!

The Royal Commission on the Donald Marshall Jr. Conviction exposed publicly what most African Nova Scotian and Mi’Kmaq people in Nova Scotia already knew, that the criminal justice system was embedded with racism. Maybe what’s now needed is a royal commission to investigate the embedded and structural racism, and the class and gender exercise of power which have guided not just the “hard” services such as police and criminal justice, but the “soft” social service institutions – quietly and secretly – for decades.

Originally published as a letter to the editor in the May 23 issue of The Coast.

Note: Articles published by Solidarity Halifax members do not necessarily reflect positions held by the organization.

Jun 082013
Solidarity Halifax, an organization of committed anti-capitalist activists in Nova Scotia, calls for the cancellation of the National Geographic Channel’s “reality TV show” Border Security. This show is one-sided and designed to increase anti-immigrant sentiment among viewers. Border Security is partly funded publicly by Canadians, as dictated by Prime Minister Harper and Minister Toews. It is abusive and exploitative of migrants and people without status, and glorifies the exploitative, unjust policies of the Canadian Border Services Agency. Deportation is not entertainment!



Jun 062013

idle no more mikmaqFollowing the courageous journey undertaken by Peace and Friendship walkers from Listuguj to Ottawa, Solidarity Halifax would like to re-iterate its commitment of solidarity toward acts of resistance and protest of the colonial and oppressive relationship between the Canadian state and the Indigenous peoples of this land. Since the emergence of the Idle No More movement, the Canadian government has shown no sign of departure from its attitude of paternalism and arrogance, and has rather chosen to pursue in this course through its last budget announcement where communities are held at ransom and youth forced to submit to the capitalist extractive industries that undermine the health of their lands and their rights of sovereignty to them. Solidarity Halifax sends their congratulations and best wishes of peace and friendship to those who have undertaken the walk.