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The “Fight for a Habitable Future on our Planet”
Water Protectors Halt Work at Three Line 3 Construction Sites
CARLTON, MN: On Monday, July 12th, water protectors stopped work at three Line 3 pipeline construction sites in Carlton County. At all three sites people climbed on top of excavators and chained themselves to heavy machinery. A growing resistance movement has been regularly delaying construction through non-violent direct action since December over concerns about the threats the pipeline poses to water, land, Indigenous sovereignty, and the future of the climate.
Alex, one of the individuals risking arrest today, spoke to why they felt compelled to take nonviolent direct action. They said, “We are all treaty people. We have a responsibility to honor and fight for Indigenous sovereignty, land, and water. I’m here fighting Line 3 as someone who loves the Great Lakes. They’re the largest fresh body of water on this planet and if we destroy them we’ll never get that back.”
Another water protector, Mandy, said “Right now we’re looking at a future with extreme water shortages, accelerating difficulty in growing food, mass human displacement due to natural disasters and manmade disasters caused by fossil fuel infrastructure projects like Line 3. I’m here to fight against ecocide and the ongoing genocide of Indigenous peoples, and I’m here to fight for a habitable future on our planet.”
The Line 3 pipeline has faced significant resistance in Minnesota since it was first proposed in 2014. The Indigenous-led movement to stop Line 3 has long asserted that construction of the pipeline would violate treaty rights and threaten the health of ecosystems in Anishinaabe territory. In particular, Line 3 construction threatens sacred manoomin (wild rice) lakes and other water bodies which are already suffering from this year’s drought.
Beyond harming the land and the water, pipeline construction also threatens communities along the route. Prior to the start of construction in December of 2020, Indigenous advocates and allies had testified before state agencies that the Line 3 pipeline project was likely to increase rates of human trafficking in the area, particularly for Indigenous women, girls, and relatives. In recent months, several Enbridge employees have been arrested in sex trafficking stings confirming many in the movements’ worst fear: that Line 3 is increasing rates of sexual violence along the route, and likely contributing to the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW).
Additional photos, videos, and interviews with movement leadership available upon request.