On December 11, 2013, many days after SWN Resources Canada had withdrawn from its attempts to conduct seismic testing, Mi’kmaq Malcolm Ward was arrested at his home in Metepenagiag First Nation. The RCMP claim he had violated the conditions of his release from a previous arrest by being too close to SWN vehicles during a subsequent protest.
This may be a good example of why, in some cases, people should wear masks in order to conceal their identities. It is a standard police tactic to collect video and photographic evidence for their investigations, to identify people, and for use as forensic evidence. It is more than likely that Ward was identified by either officers present at the scene and/or in video footage reviewed after the event.
Elsipogtog anti-fracking fight fallout putting strain on RCMP-First Nation relations
By Jorge Barrera, ATPN National News, Dec 12, 2013
The two New Brunswick RCMP officers knocked on Malcolm Ward’s door Wednesday morning while the Mi’kmaq man played with his one year-old son River in the living room.
He answered the door and the officers told him he was under arrest for getting too close to equipment owned by SWN Resources Canada, a Houston-owned energy company conducting shale gas exploration work in the province.
“I was holding my son at the time,” said Ward, shortly after his release from jail Wednesday evening.
Then his wife came home.
“I told her that I am under arrest and my wife broke down for a bit and pleaded with the RCMP to leave me alone,” said Ward, who is a fisheries officer for Metepenagiag First Nation, which overlooks the Little Southwest Miramichi River.
Ward said he picked up his son and gave him a kiss just before the officers led him out the front door and into the back of a police cruiser.
“I got emotional, I thought I wasn’t going to see him for a long time,” said Ward.
Hours later and 1,178 kilometres away, while he sat on a thin mattress in a cell at the RCMP’s Moncton, NB, detachment, Ward’s name emerged during a policing panel session involving two top RCMP officers at the Assembly of First Nations special chiefs assembly in the Lac Leamy Casino in Gatineau, Que.
“A man named Malcolm Ward got arrested today,” said Amanda Polchies, a woman from Elsipogtog First Nation. Polchies intervened during the policing panel because what she heard upset her.