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Driver reportedly runs First Nations blockade in Montreal

QMI AGENCY

At least one protester was struck by a vehicle and seven others were arrested Monday as anti-fracking activists demonstrated natiownide as part of an emergency day of action.

Several Twitter reports said three protesters were injured in a collision near Laketon, N.B., Monday afternoon, but RCMP could not confirm.

"We have not received any official report on that. That doesn't mean it did not happen," said RCMP Const. Damien Theriault.

Thieriault said five men and two women have been arrested in connection to the protest. All seven are charged with breaching a court order.

In Montreal on Monday morning, a vehicle drove through a banner being held by activists, and in another confrontation caught on camera, the driver of a Chevy Tracker refused to stop for protesters. The vehicle inched forward as people tried to stop it before finally speeding away. A person can be seen falling off the front of the Tracker and screaming.

On Friday, activists protesting SWN Resources Canada's exploratorty hydraulic fracking in New Brunswick called on supporters to take part in an emergency day of action Monday.

They encouraged fellow protesters to shut down highways and hang banners and used the hashtag #shutdowncanada on Twitter to promote the cause.

Protesters took to Parliament Hill with signs, while in Vancouver, activists stopped traffic at the port for about an hour early Monday morning.

In Toronto, a banner was dropped from a bridge over the Gardiner Expressway during the morning rush hour while protesters with signs stood outside the studios for the morning show Breakfast Television, where Prime Minister Stephen Harper gave an interview about his hockey book.

The Canadian Association of Journalists issued a press release Monday calling on "the RCMP to either lay charges or stop harassing a journalist working in New Brunswick arrested for the third time on Nov. 28," referring to Media Co-op's Miles Howe.

"RCMP behaviour suggests they are unfamiliar with the charter rights of a free press and the allowances those rights permit journalists while covering controversial and volatile situations," CAJ president Hugo Rodrigues said.

The New Brunswick protesters, many of whom are members of the nearby Elsipogtog First Nation, fear extracting shale gas using hydraulic fracking threatens groundwater supplies and say it is a violation treaty rights.

In September, the protesters set up a road block, preventing SWN from working in the area. The protest turned violent when RCMP tried to enforce an injunction to remove the blockade. Police cars were set on fire and 40 people were arrested at the protest site.

Since then, a judge has denied the protesters an injunction against SWN's work and has said the protesters are not permitted within 20 metres of any SWN vehicles or equipment.

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