In India, tens of thousands of people make their living in the fishing industry. It’s a simple system, that has served them well for centuries. In the morning, thousands of fisherman take to the seas, some in boats little better than canoes. They fish by hand, and in the afternoon, bring their catch to the beaches. When they arrive, a multitude of fish buyers appear at the water’s edge. They barter and dicker with the fishermen until a satisfactory price is reached, and the fishermen go home for the day with their pay. As for the buyers, they move on to the markets.
India has hundreds of markets where the citizens gather to buy fresh fish for their supper. Here, the fish buyers would sell their fish to the market vendors, making their profit and collecting their day’s pay as well. The vendors then sell to the public. This system creates a lot of employment and allows people in the coastal towns to be self sufficient.
A few years ago, the Indian government at the time got the bright idea to let trawlers fish inshore, jeopardizing the livelihood of the thousands of people involved in the fishery. At first the people paraded and protested with no success. Then things got ugly. They rioted, burnt government vehicles and government buildings. Suddenly, the government decided that the trawlers weren’t such a great idea, and sent them away. And it wasn’t a good idea. Thousands of people’s way of life would’ve been destroyed, along with the fishery to appease a handful of corporations.
Welcome to New Brunswick in 2013, where the Alward government has done their homework. The minute people express their displeasure with SWN, (who is about to plunder our water and play chicken with our environment), they get arrested. It’s a great tactic to keep people from the protests, as many fear getting in trouble with the law. And that’s just wrong. This is Canada, where you are allowed to express your opinion, aren’t you?
I used to be proud to be a New Brunswicker, but now I’m just embarrassed. Our dictator leader, David Gashole Alward is nothing more that a petty puppet, controlled by the gas company. The RCMP are in his pocket, he’s in the gas company’s pocket, and when this is over, we’ll have nothing in our pockets, but we may have polluted wells and worthless property. The whole thing makes me sick.
This is so much bigger than fracking. It’s about our basic right to free speech and the right to protest something we don’t agree with, no matter what it is. If we let this slide, what’s next? Privatization of healthcare? The sale of our public utilities? (which almost happened already). If we give them an inch, they’ll take a whole damn mile.
This isn’t hopeless, it can be turned around. I’ve been to the protests, I’ve been writing about this constantly, and I will not stop. And neither should anyone else. Together we can nip this in the bud, but only as a group, as a community, as a province. No matter what your opinion is on the matter, it deserves to be heard, you deserve a say. We all do. That’s what a democracy is. At the moment, democracy in New Brunswick seems to be as scarce as a trawler in India. That has to change, before there’s nothing left for any of us.