Students Demand Stop Line 3 Action from Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz. Walz refuses dialogue
Over 40 students and community members protested Governor Tim Walz’s negligence and inaction at a moderated conversation between the governor and reporter Pat Kessler, hosted by Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota this morning. Protesters shut down the forum multiple times, with different groups addressing police brutality, climate and environmental justice, and MN state investments in the fossil fuel industry?. Onstage, Walz committed to dialoguing with protesters about their concerns after the forum ended; however, at the end of the event, protesters awaiting dialogue were informed the Governor would not speak with them.
At 10:15am, activists with Justice for Jamar called out questions about police brutality and state inaction from the audience. 15 activists, including family members of police murder victims, came to confront and question Governor Walz because he has refused previous communication. There was a verbal back and forth between Justice for Jamar activists, the moderator, Pat Kessler, and the Governor himself. Protestors were forced to leave the auditorium by police.
At 10:30am, following the forced removal and detainment of several nonviolent activists for the Justice for Jamar movement, the moderator asked Walz an audience question about Line 3: “Governor, why are you choosing to willingly create a public health crisis and put Native communities at risk by failing to oppose Line 3?”
Instead of responding to the question, Walz argued that he doesn’t have jurisdiction over the choices of the Public Utilities Commission or the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. He refused yet again to publicly comment on or recognize the detrimental effects of the Line 3 expansion project. If he regards the issues around climate change as seriously as he claims to, he would publicly denounce the project.
Line 3 protestors responded to the moderator’s question about the climate crisis by standing in front of the stage with banners reading “Stop Line 3” and highlighting Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The Line 3 activists were told that if they left, same as the Justice for Jamar activists, there would be a one on one meeting with the Governor to address these issues. This did not occur: the commitment the governor made was a lie intended only to remove activists from the audience.
Here are our questions for Governor Walz, should he have upheld his commitment to dialogue:
- By what date will the Dept of Commerce appeal against the Certificate of Need be refiled? If you don’t have a date yet, when will you let us know a date?
- Can you commit to following the science rigorously on the 401 water crossing certification, and when the science shows a denial, following through on that by denying