New Brunswick — Anti-glyphosate activists have set up camp near Kedgwick River with the aim of preventing the clearcut area from being sprayed with the herbicide. The group of 10 from EcoVie plans to stay as long as there is glyphosate spraying in Madawaska County.
The forest industry and NB Power use glyphosate to control undergrowth and kill weeds; grown men and women use bongo drums in a sad attempt to convey coolness and oneness with nature.
“We don’t know how long we’ll be here, so we’re starting out small — we’re just sitting here playing our protest music,” a group spokesperson told a Manatee reporter. “We’re chanting our pleas to the New Brunswick government and hoping they respect us enough not to spray here or anywhere else.”
While a recent government report deemed it low-risk, many New Brunswickers believe the forest industry’s use of glyphosate could damage the health of both humans and the environment. Contrary to the group’s intentions, the music — hammered out on a few sets of sorry-looking bongos dredged up from some ex-hippie’s basement — is actually getting in the way of their otherwise legitimate message.
“I am completely against glyphosate,” said local resident Rachel McKenna, 29. “But… I gotta say… if you’re a white guy beating on bongo drums, you can’t be taken seriously. It’s just a fact of life. I don’t care if you’ve got the most golden intentions backed by rock-solid facts — a drum circle obscures all that.”
McKenna believes the group would do better to stage a silent protest. “Oh my god, when I’m at a party and some guy pulls out a guitar and another guy whips out bongo drums, I’m outta there,” she went on. “I can’t imagine government officials feel any different.”
One protester said the group has not gotten any response from the provincial government, but they hope with louder music, their message will shine through.