On Civil Disobedience and the Law
Tomorrow, May 5th, 2013, I will speak on the issue of “Civil Disobedience and the Law” to a group of New Brunswick citizens attending the Direct Action Workshop, sponsored by the Council of Canadians and the CCNB. It is organized in connexion with the grassroots mobilization effort against invasive shale gas extraction in the province.
The expansion of the shale gas industry into New Brunswick is an on-going controversy here. Many citizens are worried about the potential environmental and social impacts of exploration as well as the possible effects on their health and their properties. People have lost confidence in their government too. They don’t believe they are being told the truth about its plans and they feel the government is too closely linked with industry. Because of this, people opposed to the shale gas industry began taking matters into their own hands. For several years now, a loosely knit coalition of opponents has been organizing information sessions, inviting experts and debating the issues. It has also been ensuring that MLAs are held accountable by asking them to voice their position on hydrofracking. Hundreds of citizens have also protested in the streets and in front of the Legislature. Today, despite all the efforts, many individuals remain dissatisfied and angry towards government for what they perceive as inaction and an unwillingness to address the truth about these unconventional practices. They are now considering more direct action in the form of peaceful civil disobedience.
What are the legal ramifications of direct action? To find out, join me tomorrow at 1pm at the Moncton Press Club, or continue reading in my EnviroLaw Blog (leads to an external link).