Snarky Puppy Delivers Three Glorious Shows In New York City [Gallery/Videos]

first_imgCritically acclaimed jazz/funk ensemble Snarky Puppy rang in the New Year in New York City, playing on December 30th at Irving Plaza before delivering two separate performances at the Union Square venue on New Year’s Eve. Snarky Puppy had a tremendous 2016, winning a Grammy award for Sylva, their collaborative album with the Metropole Orkest. They also returned with their first Snarky Puppy album in years, an impressive released entitled Culcha Vulcha.The two-night, three-show run was full of incredible music, keeping the good times rolling as fans danced the night away. Check out some videos and a full gallery below, courtesy of Capacity Images. Load remaining imageslast_img

Broadway Grosses: Audiences Flock to On the Twentieth Century

first_imgKristin Chenoweth’s vocal talents (not to mention comedic chops), Peter Gallagher’s plotting and Andy Karl’s arm curls continue to lure in audiences to On the Twentieth Century; the Tony nominated revival made the frontrunners list for capacity this week on the Great White Way. More good news for Tony nominee An American in Paris, which further cemented its position as one of the top five grossing shows, bringing in $1,280,111; the tuner was joined by perennial favorites The Lion King, Wicked, Mormon and Aladdin. Meanwhile, It Shoulda Been You and Gigi will be hoping for a boost after their Audience Choice Award wins, struggling this week with grosses and capacity, respectively, as they have been for some weeks now. And perhaps unsurprisingly, since it announced it would close a week early, Airline Highway, despite good initial buzz suggesting the show would take flight, was the lowest grossing production of the week.Here’s a look at who was on top—and who was not—for the week ending May 17:FRONTRUNNERS (By Gross)1.The Lion King ($1,966,567)2. Wicked ($1,601,725)3.The Book of Mormon ($1,534,408)4. Aladdin ($1,467,090)5. An American in Paris ($1,280,111)UNDERDOGS (By Gross)5. Hedwig and the Angry Inch ($448,280)*4. Hand to God ($427,117)3. It Shoulda Been You ($418,416)2. The Visit ($211,430)1. Airline Highway($180,476)FRONTRUNNERS (By Capacity)1. The Book of Mormon (102.52%)2. Fun Home (102.48%)3. Fish in the Dark (101.57%)4. The Audience (101.24%)*5. On the Twentieth Century (100.31%)UNDERDOGS (By Capacity)5. Jersey Boys (71.23%)4. Gigi (65.94%)3. On the Town (65.07%)2. Wolf Hall Parts One & Two (60.66%)1. The Visit (55.23%)* Number based on seven regular performancesSource: The Broadway League View Comments Star Filescenter_img Kristin Chenowethlast_img read more

Bacteria Too Complex To Be Primitive Eukaryote Ancestors

first_imgIn the search for the most primitive life forms on earth, bacteria would certainly make the list.  They are tiny, one-celled, and have small genomes.  Why, then, did Patrick Forterre and Simonetta Gribaldo of the Pasteur Institute say in PNAS,1 “we should definitely stop thinking of bacteria in terms of simple ‘lower’ organisms”?  For the same reason that Science Daily announced about a separate finding, “Lowly bacteria are turning out to be much more complex than previously thought.”    Some bacteria do, of course, have one of the most amazing molecular motors on earth: the flagellum.  Howard Berg’s team at Harvard recently found out that the clockwise and counter-clockwise rotations of flagella are asymmetrical.  Writing in PNAS,1 they said, “We speculate that CCW rotation might be optimized for runs, with higher speeds increasing the ability of cells to sense spatial gradients, whereas CW rotation might be optimized for tumbles, where the object is to change cell trajectories.”  Flagellar motors are just one instance of exquisite complexity found in bacteria.  More instances are now coming to light.    The Science Daily article reported on work at Loyola University that found a new example of “bacterial complexity” called ”protein acetylation” at work, a process once thought characteristic of the more-complex eukaryotes and rare in bacteria.  Protein acetylation is a molecular process involved in regulating genes and proteins.  “Bacteria have long been considered simple relatives of eukaryotes,” wrote Alan Wolfe for his colleagues at Loyola.  “Obviously, this misperception must be modified…. There is a whole process going on that we have been blind to.”  Has this discovery been exciting?  He said his graduate students are working around the clock, because “We’re riding the front of the wave, and that’s exhilarating.”  The headline announced that the discovery of a complex process in bacteria represents “the dawning of a new age in bacteria research.”    Forterre and Gribaldo, writing in their PNAS Commentary,2 discussed two other recent findings that promote bacteria into the ballpark of complex organisms: (1) the discovery by Fuerst that they are capable of endocytosis, in which extracellular cargo can enter the cell through wrappings of membrane, and (2) the discovery by Devos that their cell membranes contain proteins “structural analogs of eukaryotic membrane coat (MC) proteins.”  Forterre and Gribaldo explain, “In eukaryotes, MC proteins are involved in both vesicle trafficking systems and in the formation of the nuclear pore.”  But bacteria have no nucleus, do they?  Actually, many bacteria have an intracytoplasmic membrane (ICM), another analog to the eukaryotic nucleus, and their MC proteins apparently form a kind of nuclear pore to allow trafficking of RNAs between the genome and the ribosomes – just like in eukaryotes.  “The analogies between the membrane trafficking systems of PVC bacteria and Eukarya, both at the cytological and protein structure levels, are thus strikingly evident,” they exclaimed.  “It now seems impossible to ignore these data when discussing the origin of the eukaryotic nucleus.”  Far be it from an evolutionary biologist to ignore data.    So what is the new picture of the relationship between “simple” prokaryotes and their more-evolved superiors, the eukaryotes?  For one thing, Forterre and Gribaldo revealed serious shortcomings with the popular “endosymbiosis” model – the idea that a prokaryote engulfed an archaea and gave rise to a symbiotic relationship that produced a eukaryote.  “However, symbiotic hypotheses for the origin of Eukarya remain difficult to understand in terms of known biological mechanisms,” they said.  “For example, they imply a specific association between a bacterium and an archaeon for which there are no examples in nature, and assume a very unlikely process where all of the genes of the bacterial host coding for informational proteins would have been replaced by those of the archaeal symbiont.”  So much for that idea.  Too bad it was the leading plot in many a documentary and popular evolutionary portrayal.    Forterre and Gribaldo could only think of two approaches, both evolutionary: “A major objective of future research should now be to determine whether bacterial MC proteins are only structural analogs of eukaryotic ones (a case of convergent evolution) or whether instead they are homologous.”  With choices like that, Darwin can’t lose.  “This cannot be tested through sequence similarity (even between eukaryotic MC proteins), because these proteins evolve too rapidly at the sequence level,” they said, again assuming evolution.  “However, MC proteins have retained their core architecture during evolution….”  One wonders how they could know that.  The two unique protein domains that make up the MC proteins of prokaryotes “are strikingly similar in PVC bacteria and Eukarya.”  For this reason, they favor homology instead of convergence, but more research will be required: “Preliminary results have nevertheless already provided important information, suggesting in fact an ancient origin of these proteins in both PVC bacteria and in Eukarya, because several copies of MC proteins were probably already present in their respective last common ancestors.”    It’s apparent that for Forterre and Gribaldo, the assumption of evolution qualifies as information about how eukaryotes evolved from prokaryotes.  “If we assume that bacterial and eukaryotic MC proteins have a common origin, how can this information be fitted with current theories on the origin of eukaryotes?”  Imagination also supplies information: “Three scenarios can be imagined,” they said.  The endosymbiosis model, as noted above, is no longer credible.  That leaves two “scenarios where modern Eukarya originated from an ancestral protoeukaryotic lineage.”  The first imagines PVC bacteria getting their MC proteins by lateral gene transfer.  They admit there’s no evidence for that.  “In the second one” (the one they favor), “MC proteins would have already been present in the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) and were inherited in Eukarya and PVC bacteria, whereas they were lost in all other bacterial phyla and in Archaea.”  How did LUCA get it?  They didn’t say.  Here’s where their story really gets convoluted, and admittedly “odd” –If the LUCA already harbored MC proteins, it was probably compartmentalized.  This idea can appear odd to many biologists who use [sic] to think of the LUCA and all its contemporaries as very primitive entities.  However, the formation of vesicles and membrane manipulation may be very ancient features of life… suggesting, by analogy, that even ancient cells with RNA genomes could have had such capacity and therefore already be compartmentalized.  If MC proteins were already around at the time of the LUCA, the ancient biosphere might have been more diversified than usually suspected, with various lineages of compartmentalized cells, some of them with nuclei (which could be named synkaryotes) and others without (akaryotes), thriving in various environments.  Endocytosis of proteins might well be an ancient trait that was lost in bacteria with rigid cell walls.  Although PVC bacteria are bona fide members of the bacterial domain, they might therefore have conserved some ancestral features in terms of cellular structure and function that open up new avenues of thinking about the nature of our cellular ancestors.  Further exploration of microbial diversity will most likely bring surprises.  Other compartmentalized cells could in fact exist among the vast numbers of still uncultivated archaeal and bacterial lineages.One detects a suggestion that the above paragraph might have a lot of could-be’s and may-be’s in it, perhaps.  There’s a lot of complexity to explain.  Now, the reader understands the context for that line with which this entry opened: “In any case, the results of Fuerst and Devos and colleagues remind us that we should definitely stop thinking of bacteria in terms of simple ‘lower’ organisms.”1.  Yuan, Fahrner, Turner, and Berg, “Asymmetry in the clockwise and counterclockwise rotation of the bacterial flagellar motor,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online before print July 6, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1007333107.2.  Patrick Forterre and Simonetta Gribaldo, “Bacteria with a eukaryotic touch: A glimpse of ancient evolution?”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online before print July 12, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1007720107.Readers must be aghast at this entry: astonished at the complexity of bacteria, and utterly appalled at the shameless, incorrigible tenacity of Darwinian faith in their naturalistic tale.  “If we assume that bacterial and eukaryotic MC proteins have a common origin….”  That sentence reveals the cardinal sin of the Darwin Scientific Method, abbreviated MAD (Multiply Assumptions of Darwin): namely, (1) Assume evolution, (2) Observe a fact, (3) Make up a story to tell how the fact evolved.  These blind leaders of the blind are so blind they cannot see that they just called their assumption “information.”  They said, “how can this information be fitted with current theories on the origin of eukaryotes?”  That’s not information – that’s incantation.  It’s conjuring up images in their own heads.  It’s also reasoning in a circle.  They just said, in short, “Assuming evolution, how would that assumption fit with current theories of assumed evolution?”  It’s the can opener joke: “Assume a can opener.  How would that assumption fit with theories of how having a can opener would help open the tuna can?”  Show us the can opener!  Then we’ll all open the can and have lunch, instead of dreaming up “scenarios” where can openers “originate” in some uncanny common ancestor.    Assuming on, from amusing leap to leap, they employed the second cardinal sin of the MAD method: imagination.  “It’s not hard to imagine…” they said a couple of times.  It’s not hard when they get a lot of practice every day.  What’s hard is following rigorous science that is observable, testable, and repeatable.    Despite their posturing, they just disarmed their idol, Charlie, and squeezed him against the wall.  They robbed him of the most popular explanation for the origin of eukaryotes (endosymbiosis), and put all the complexity back into a mythical “last universal common ancestor” (LUCA).  So now, they have to assume LUCA with LUCK will produce LUCY, given time and chance.  No evidence required.  Folks, this is not science.  Assuming one’s own imagination without evidence is the seedplot of mythology.  Got science?  The data show supercomputing in a pinhead processor, complex regulation in software, and fast, accurate image processing.  That’s not MAD, that’s MADE – Multiple Affirmations of Design Excellence.  Yes, gentlemen, it is “impossible to ignore these data when discussing the origin” of things that are MADE (Romans 1:20).(Visited 80 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Nature the best way to nurture

first_img1 November 2007Thabo Jekwa’s* future was bleak.Orphaned when young and living with a pensioner aunt in an impoverished household of 12, his school years were characterised by alcohol abuse in the home, food shortages, and zero opportunity for furthering his studies or securing employment.Often working by candlelight until late at night, he achieved his grade 12 level of education in a determined effort to make something of his life and move beyond the obstacles of his past. Thabo’s prospects changed dramatically after a community organisation referred him to the Wilderness Foundation’s Umzi Wethu Project. Based in Port Elizabeth, Umzi Wethu – under the slogan “Nature, Nuture, Future” – provides certified training in eco-tourism for Aids orphans and vulnerable youngsters.“He showed unwavering committment to completing his professional cookery training at Umzi Wethu, and missed only one day of training when his household was flooded during heavy rains,” says Umzi Wethu counselling psychologist Debbie Gothan.Thabo moved into an associated residence a few months into the programme to escape a difficult home situation, graduated from the course and proved to be “a leader, an excellent team worker and a good communicator”, Gothan adds. “He is also a very humble person.”Thabo is currently employed as a Junior Chef at Shamwari Game Reserve – one of 12 graduates from the Wilderness Foundation training academy who have secured employment in the eco-tourism sector in the Eastern Cape and at the foundation itself.Top Eastern Cape game reserves Kariega, Kuzuko and Shamwari have bought in to the Umzi Wethu programme, finding placements for these graduates in their hospitality sectors.With the first intake of youngster from the northern townships of Nelson Mandela Bay now placed, the training of the second intake – drawn from rural areas including Steynsburg, Kirkwood, Addo, Pearston, Cookhouse and Paterson – is nearing completion.The third intake commenced training in June this year, while the fourth and fifth intakes have already been selected.“Our pilot group was a huge success,” says Gothan. “All graduated, underwent practical training at Conynghams Coffee Shop in Port Elizabeth, and put their skills to the test at the 2007 Society for Conservation Biology meeting at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.”The biodiversity conference, held in July, attracted 2 000 international delegates to the city. It was the first time this biggest annual gathering of conservation scientists was held in Africa, and it was an ideal platform for the Umzi Wethu pilot project launch.Employment is not the only need addressed by the initiative, says Gothan. Umzi Wethu’s holistic approach promotes wellness, learning life skills and using nature as therapy to support long-term employability.While the first intake was trained as junior chefs and in the food and beverages sector, “one member absolutely thrived in the wilderness environment and has been given the opportunity to train as a game ranger.”The Wilderness Foundation aims eventually to roll the programme out across South Africa.* Not his real name.This article was first published in Eastern Cape Madiba Action. Republished here with kind permission.last_img read more

Satellite boost for African telecoms

first_imgOver half of the satellite’s capacity has already been reserved for several leading continental companies, including Vodacom International, Gateway Communications Africa, Zain Nigeria and Gilat Satcom. Debt and equity funding Intelsat will provide almost 75% of the equity funding, at approximately $25-million, while the remaining 25% will be provided by South African investment companies Convergence Partners and Altriah Telecoms. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material Bermuda-based international satellite service provider Intelsat is partnering with a South African investor group led by Convergence Partners to build and launch a new satellite that will be ideally positioned to serve the African continent. SAinfo reporter Africa has been one of the fastest growing regions for fixed satellite services in recent years, fuelled by demand for critical infrastructure from communications providers and television broadcasters. Customers signed up “Convergence Partners believes that investments in African projects of this nature can offer superior returns while also accelerating the socio-economic development of the continent.”center_img Intelsat added that pre-orders for satellite capacity currently totalled more than $350-million, with some contracts for up to 15 years of service on the satellite. The project is expected to cost a total of about US$250-million (about R2.55-billion), and will be funded approximately 85% with debt and 15% with equity, with the largest participants in the debt funding consortium being South Africa’s Nedbank Capital and the Industrial Development Corporation. “Once in service, Intelsat New Dawn will be an integral part of our global, resilient satellite network, providing growth capacity and allowing us to further expand our services to our long-time customers in Africa.” Convergence Partners chairman Andile Ngcaba said the satellite would “provide world-class connectivity, allowing businesses to grow and rural communities to connect. 11 December 2008 “The New Dawn joint venture is a great example of the type of creative investments Intelsat will use to further develop our fleet in regions where we believe there is unmet demand,” Intelsat CEO David McGlade said in a statement this week. The satellite, to be called Intelsat New Dawn, will feature a payload optimised to deliver wireless backhaul, broadband and television programming to the continent, and is expected to enter service in early 2011.last_img read more

Ex-UFC champ Ronda Rousey poised to join the WWE at ‘Wrestlemania 34’ —report

first_imgView comments Rousey will reportedly team up with her “Four Horsewomen” comrades, composed of former mixed martial artists Shayna Baszler,  Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir.The group has reportedly started training for wrestling at a school in California, run by WWE superstar Brian Kendrick.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSeveral big-name personalities have been known to dabble in both the UFC and the WWE—perhaps none bigger than former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar, who has gone back and forth to both companies on two separate occasions.Phil Brooks (known as CM Punk) also made his octagon debut at UFC 203 last year. MOST READ Read Next Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES #KicksStalker: Bryant announces new signature sneaker ‘Kobe 360’ Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. center_img John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia03:21Police report on Nov. 2013 Pampanga drug sting ‘full of lies’ — ex-PNP official01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Meanwhile, UFC President Dana White expressed his belief that Rousey’s career as a professional mixed martial artist is over.As of this writing, the WWE has yet to confirm the match-up.  Khristian Ibarrola /raRELATED STORIES:UFC president believes Ronda Rousey will announce retirement soonLOOK: UFC fighters Ronda Rousey, Travis Browne share photos from their weddingADVERTISEMENT Ronda Rousey celebrates her victory over Cat Zingano in their UFC women’s bantamweight championship bout during the UFC 184 event at Staples Center on February 28, 2015, in Los Angeles, California.  Harry How/Getty Images/AFPAfter multiple reports that Ronda Rousey was seen training in the WWE Performance Center circulated earlier this week, it appears that the former UFC Women’s Bantamweight champion is indeed making a shift to professional wrestling.A longtime wrestling fan, the 30-year-old former Olympian will reportedly be pitted in a 4-on-4 women’s tag team match at WrestleMania 34 next April in New Orleans, according to  the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

BCCI chief meets IOA secretary general to wish luck before Asian Games

first_imgBCCI acting president C K Khanna on Wednesday met Indian Olympic Association secretary general Rajeev Mehta to wish the country’s contingent for the Asian Games in Indonesia, starting Saturday.Khanna met Mehta at the IOA Bhawan in New Delhi and presented the IOA secretary general a shirt which has the colours of Indian flag.”Mr. C K Khanna wanted to wish luck to the Indian contingent, to produce a strong performance in Indonesia and bring back a rich haul of medals. It was a very nice gesture,” Mehta said.ASIAN GAMES 2018: FULL COVERAGE”This is the first time the head of BCCI came to IOA office and wish luck for the country’s performance. Mr. Khanna said the BCCI would be happy to extend help in the development of India sports.Mr C. K. Khanna (Acting President) of BCCI called on Mr Rajeev Mehta, Secretary General of Indian Olympic Association today extending good wishes for the Indian Contingent participating in the 18th #AsianGames Jakarta Palembang 2018. #TeamIndia #AllTheBest #IAmTeamIndia India (@ioaindia) August 15, 2018READ – India at Asian Games 2018: Full squadThe 2018 Asian Games will be held in Jakarta from August 18 to September 2 and 45 nations will be participating in it across 465 events from 40 sports.READ – Asian Games: A brief historySeventeen Asian Games have been held with the 2018 tournament being the 18th. So far, nine nations have hosted the Asian Games and 46 nations have participated in the Games, including Israel, which was excluded from the Games after their last participation in 1974.advertisementINDIA AT ASIAN GAMES 2018: DISCIPLINESChina have won the most number of medals so far in the games with 2898 and they are followed by Japan (2851) and South Korea (2058). India have 602 medals from 17 Games so far.(With inputs from PTI)last_img read more

NB debates Christian legislature prayer Not inclusive enough

first_imgFREDERICTON — A Green Party legislator has sparked a debate over the role of mandatory Christian prayers in New Brunswick’s legislative assembly, calling instead for periods of silence as practised in Quebec.Kevin Arseneau said Monday that when the house returns in May he’ll bring in a motion calling for an exploration of practices other than the speaking of Christian prayers for the Queen, the legislature and the Lord’s Prayer before legislature business commences.“I find it’s exclusive. It’s not inclusive enough. In New Brunswick we have many people, practising many religions. And there’s also the separation of state and religion,” said the member for Kent North.“A moment of silence would generate the inclusivity and give everyone a chance to reflect in their own manner.” However, the push for change by Arseneau — who has declined to take his turn speaking the prayers in the assembly — has been swiftly shut down by Tory Premier Blaine Higgs.Higgs said last week he finds it sad that some are attempting to “pick away” at historical traditions in the province, and he won’t change the prayer practices so long as he’s premier.A spokeswoman for Kris Austin, the leader of the People’s Alliance Party of New Brunswick, said her leader is on the record opposing Arseneau’s plan. The People’s Alliance has been providing support to the minority Tory government.“He (Austin) is opposed to removing prayer from the legislature because it is tradition. He has stated he would vote against the motion,” wrote spokeswoman Laverne Stewart. However, Arseneau said the tradition argument from Higgs and Austin isn’t sufficient.“If we would only think about tradition, Catholics wouldn’t be allowed to vote in New Brunswick, and women wouldn’t be allowed to vote.”He said he’ll carry on his push to have a system of silence similar to that practised in some provincial and municipal jurisdictions in Canada.Raissa Marks, a 39-year-old resident of Riverview, N.B., wrote to Arseneau to express her support of his effort, even as it faces a likely defeat in the legislature.“When I learned last week that they did a Christian prayer at the beginning of the legislature … I felt they were doing something there that didn’t represent me and my religion,” she said.“I think this has opened an important conversation and reflection among those who pay attention to what’s going on.”The neighbouring provinces of Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia both continue to have Christian prayers said before the legislature opens to the public, while there is no prayer in Newfoundland and Labrador.David Coon, the leader of the Green Party and a practising Christian, has said he prefers the example of Ontario, where prayers from diverse faiths are spoken in the legislature, along with the Lord’s Prayer.John Milloy, director of the centre for public ethics at Martin Luther University College, said Coon’s view helps promote and celebrate a variety of religious perspectives — rather than creating a system of “winner and losers” between religious and non-religious citizens.“Why can’t we institute a system similar to what happened in Ontario where we recognize that diversity? Different faith traditions can provide prayers and reflections and for those with no faith tradition you go to humanist traditions, or moments of silence,” he said from his office in Waterloo, Ont.“Let’s celebrate that. Let’s not turn this into, ‘If that Green guy wins then the religious people are out.’ Let’s celebrate all perspectives.”Arseneau said he had hoped the legislature’s procedures committee would hear the various proposals in a wide-ranging discussion.“What I wish is that we can have a civilized discussion about this and put many options on the table and have a real, in-depth, civil discussion about it,” he said.— By Michael Tutton in Halifax.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

14 arrested as RCMP enforce injunction on Wetsuweten Territory

first_imgThe scene at the Gidmit’en check point Monday. Photo: Wet’suwet’en Facebook page.Kathleen MartensAPTN NewsMore than a dozen people were arrested Monday afternoon as armed police, some dressed in camouflage fatigues, broke down homemade barriers at a checkpoint on unceded Wet’suwet’en territory on the Morice River road in the B.C. interior.Still, hereditary Wet’suwet’en leaders pledged to keep fighting.“We may have lost this battle but not the war,” said Chief Madeek, hereditary leader of the Gidimt’en clan, whose checkpoint outside the Unist’ot’en camp was toppled first.Reports from people at the scene said some RCMP officers burst from vehicles idling at the site for most of the day.Carmen Nikal, 72, was at the check point.“They (police) spent some time trying to get the barricade down and I stepped away… and there were a couple of the protestors who had secured themselves to the barricade inside, I’m not exactly sure how the rest of us were standing and singing,” she said in an interview on Facebook.“The only thing I could do was try to block the path between the bus and the bridge. I’m not a big person but I was big enough to stand and they had asked me to move and I said ‘No I’m not moving’ and he said, ‘Well, we can arrest you,’” she said.“And I’m proud to have been arrested.”Nikal was taken to the RCMP detachment in Houston, 45 minutes away, processed and released Monday evening.The police arrived in a convoy around 9 a.m. before erecting a road block and what the RCMP called an exclusion zone to keep members of the public and the media out of the area.“It’s for public safety,” said a Mountie, whose name was not visible, standing in front of a mobile command centre.He declined to explain the risk and referred questions to the media liaison, who couldn’t be reached because of the lack of cellphone service at the site.There were accusations the RCMP blocked cellular service in the area during the operation. An accusation the police deny.After the police road block went up, Madeek joined three other hereditary chiefs in being allowed in to meet with officials from Coastal GasLink at the checkpoint.“We tried to reason with them,” he told supporters later gathered around a bonfire outside the roadblock.“We told them they don’t have our permission to be here.”But the company, a subsidiary of TransCanada, refused to negotiate, added hereditary Chief Namoks.“They said they had an (interim) injunction and that’s all they needed.”Nikal said the police went over top of the barricade and there was a scuffle between the advancing RCMP and the first line of Gidimt’en clan members.Police then made their way to a line of women that included spokesperson Molly Wickham.The women were taken into custody and driven to face a Justice of the Peace in Prince George, B.C., more than four hours away by car.“I’m not sure why… they would be taken to Prince George,” said Nikal. “Because I didn’t see the women in that line including Molly doing anything that I didn’t do which is just stand your ground.”According to a statement from the RCMP Monday evening, the arrests are specific to the Gidimt’en check point.“As of 6:45 p.m., there were 14 persons arrested from the blockade set up by [Gidimt’en] on Morice West Forest Service Road for various offences including alleged violations of the injunction order,” said the statement.COURT SIDED WITH COMPANYThe injunction granted Dec. 14 in B.C. Supreme Court agreed the company could access some Unist’ot’en land to prepare for the LNG natural gas pipeline.The company wants access through the Unist’ot’en camp 20 kilometres up the Morice River road from the Gidimt’en check point to complete preparatory work on the 670-kilometre pipeline.The camp has been standing for nearly a decade to prevent three proposed pipelines from cutting through Wet’suwet’en territory.But now access is almost guaranteed.Although it’s not clear when RCMP will move on the camp and its occupants.The company has signed agreements with elected representatives of 20 First Nations along the pipeline route.But the hereditary clans of the Wet’suwet’en say they are the caretakers of the land and oppose any fossil fuel development.“We know who we are and we stand strong,” Chief Na’Moks said. “We don’t trust LNG and we don’t trust the RCMP.”“This is a crisis,” added Grand Chief Stewart Phillip in Vancouver.His organization – the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs – accused the RCMP in a statement of intimidating peaceful protesters.“It is insulting and upsetting that contract workers for LNG can go onto our land (today) and Wet’suwet’en people can’t,” said Na’Moks.“This calls into question the democracy that is Canada.”The road block, failed dialogue with the company and arrests were a dramatic end to an increased police presence in Houston, a town about 45 minutes from the camp, over several days.“We will keep fighting,” added Madeek. “We have too much to lose.”[email protected]@katmartelast_img read more