[FOND DU LAC, MN] Despite frigid temperatures, pipeline construction in Northern Minnesota continues to be met with active resistance from the growing movement to stop Line 3. Tuesday morning, two water protectors were arrested in Fond du Lac while locking themselves to construction equipment in what felt like -26 degree weather. They were joined by nearly 30 other water protectors who occupied the site, 6 of whom were arrested in an ongoing escalation of police response to frontline protests.
In the words of Ezra Waskey, one of the water protectors who locked themself to machinery, “What is happening here is colonization; what is happening here started in 1492 and it never stopped. We are here on the Enbridge destruction site, putting our bodies in the way of this horrendous act, to stop Line 3!” The other water protector who locked themself to the construction equipment, Dylan, said that they were doing this to “Honor Indigenous lifeways and leadership because everything must change. Kill the Black Snake.”
As the water protectors bared the cold, their actions blocked construction of the Line 3 tar sands pipeline for over three hours. One of the water protectors there said, “We are putting our own bodies at risk because we know we must. By building this pipeline Enbridge is endangering all life on this planet, and even the lives of their own workers.” Just last week, an Enbridge worker was put into critical condition after his machinery broke through the ice near La Salle Creek, submerging him in freezing waters.
As the water protectors were leaving the construction site following a police dispersal order, 6 other water protectors were also arrested. We spoke with an organizer from Pipeline Legal Action Network who shared that, “Recently we’ve seen law enforcement escalating their response to water protectors on the frontlines of this movement. They’ve threatened the use of less-than-lethal weapons on protestors on numerous occasions and set exorbitantly high bail and restrictive conditions of release from jail. The arrest of 6 water protectors today is a tragic yet anticipated continuation of this trend and is something we expect to see going forward.”
A press release from the Movement to Resist Line 3. For more information, contact Camp Migizi on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org. High resolution photos and interviews with movement leadership available on request.