FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 3, 2021
More than 70 Peaceful Protesters Cited, 1 arrested*
On the Anniversary of a Catastrophic Oil Spill, 75 Water Protectors Rally Against the Line 3 Pipeline
(GRAND RAPIDS, MN) Today, a crowd of 75+ water protectors commemorated the 30th anniversary of the largest inland oil spill on Turtle Island (so-called North America). 30 years ago today, on March 3rd, 1991, the Line 3 pipeline ruptured spilling over 1.7 million gallons of oil near Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Water protectors are rallying against Enbridge’s Line 3 expansion to stop the pipeline and ensure that an oil spill like that never happens on Indigenous land again.
The 1991 oil spill flowed into Prairie River, a tributary of the Mississippi that flows into the river near its sensitive headwaters. Oil made it half a mile away from the Mississippi, but the thick sheet of ice covering the Prairie River stopped the oil from flowing further than that. With a changing climate and a constantly warming planet, we may not have been so lucky if the spill had occured today. Since 2002 alone, Enbridge has reported 307 oil spills to federal regulators, totaling 2.8 million gallons of oil. The 1991 spill, not included in that figure, spilled more than half as many gallons as Enbridge has reported since 2002.
Water protectors marching today stand in solidarity with the right to live and thrive for all people. As one water protector at the rally said, “with the approaching trial of Derek Chauvin, we uplift the interconnectedness of the struggle to protect treaty rights, clean waters, sacred space and Indigenous sovereignty with the right of all people to live in a world free of oppression and destruction of the earth”