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Concerning the Possible Arrest of Reporter Miles Howe in Elsipogtog

Miles Howe of the Halifax Media Co-op may have been arrested by RCMP while covering ongoing Mi'kmaq-led blockade against fracking

by Media Co-op

Police line this afternoon at Elsipogtog, as tear gassing of protestors began. PHOTO: Ossie Michelin.
Police line this afternoon at Elsipogtog, as tear gassing of protestors began. PHOTO: Ossie Michelin.
RCMP in camo crawl around the Rexton blockade. PHOTO: Twitter.
RCMP in camo crawl around the Rexton blockade. PHOTO: Twitter.

UPDATES BELOW

Participants in the anti-fracking struggle in New Brunswick have been stormed by an estimated 200 members of the RCMP, some dressed in military fatigues. The police raided the Rexton blockade where Mi'kmaq warriors and supporters are camped out against SWN Resources Canada Inc.

Our reporter Miles Howe, who has been covering the blockade since the spring, has been incommunicado for approximately four hours. We have received a report that Miles was arrested this morning. We are still awaiting first hand confirmation of his arrest.

This morning Miles wrote a note alerting our editorial collective that the camp where he was reporting from was surrounded by police: "There are about 75 of them, about 10 in military fatigues, all guns drawn."

Miles has been in the sights of police for months because of his ongoing reporting about the anti-fracking struggle in New Brunswick. In an attempt to prevent him from continuing to cover the protest, Miles was arrested while covering protests against SWN on July 5. All charges against him were later dropped.

Another independent media maker who goes by @Stimulator and also files reports for the Media Co-op had his laptop confiscated by the RCMP while covering the police crackdown this morning.

There is also a report that Elsipogtog Chief Arren Sock was arrested this morning along with at least one member of Council. It is unknown how many further arrests have been made.

The Media Co-op editorial collective denounces these blatant attempts by the state to violently enforce the will of SWN Resources Canada while silencing independent journalists. This release will be updated as more information becomes available.

Posted 14:35 Eastern Time/15:35 Atlantic Time.

UPDATE 17:00 Eastern Time: The RCMP have returned @Stimulator's laptop and equipment. Still no word on Miles' whereabouts. 

UPDATE 11:00 Eastern Time, Oct. 18 2013: Miles was released without charges at 3:15am AST this morning by the Codiac RCMP in Moncton, but is still working to get his gear back. He was let out with "nothing but a set of keys and my camera" and had to wander around until hotels opened. But he's safe, and will be posting an update later today.

We're happy to hear that Miles is safe, and are excited that he can continue his tireless coverage of the fight against fracking. We continue to denounce the RCMP's actions, and demand that they release Miles' equipment as soon as possible.
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dawn (dawn paley)
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Journalist, co-founder VMC, ex-editor & board member with Media Co-op. Author, Drug War Capitalism.

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