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On October 17th, 2013, a protest against fracking, the process of fracturing rocks with high-pressure liquids between 2,000-10,000 feet underground to find natural gas, was held by members of the Mi’kmaq First Nation in Elsipogtog, New Brunswick, Canada. However, the protest ended in violence between the demonstrators and members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) who allegedly raided the protest with guns drawn. Photos and video from the scuffle spread across Twitter with the hashtags #Elsipogtog and #Rexton, which were used more than 34,000 times combined on the social networking site that day. By the end of the protest, more than 40 people were arrested including the Mi’kmaq First Nation’s Chief Arren Sock and several members of his council (shown below).
— Lionel Levi (@lionelwade1980) October 17, 2013
During the protest, video journalist Ossie Michelin tweeted that he overheard a police officer say that the land in question “belongs to the government not to fucking natives.” On October 18th, an Anonymous communique appeared on Pastebin announcing #OpFrackOff as a way to find the officer who said this and draw attention to the situation at hand. On October 21st, AnonOps posted a video (shown below) with footage of the protests and information on fracking, followed by an updated communique the next day, seeking video of the officer’s racist comments.
News of the operation spread to Raincoaster and Global Post that week. The video fell into the hands on Anonymous members, who uploaded it Vimeo on October 30th, first as an audio clip followed by the full video (shown below). The same day, Vice writer Patrick McGuire contacted RCMP media relations officer Constable Jullie Rogers-Marsh, who confirmed that the statement was uttered by an officer. Though he was not named, she mentioned he had been sent home and is currently under investigation. Also on October 30th, the Daily Dot reported on the video, calling the officer being sent home a “partial victory.”
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