Water Protectors Lock to Gate and Ascend Equipment to Stop Line 3

cross-posted from the Giniw Collective

(Floodwood, MN) Early Thursday morning, several Water Protectors under Indigenous leadership took action to shut down two Enbridge construction sites on the Line 3 pipeline route. While two people locked themselves to a gate, blocking access to a worksite building a pump station, four more individuals (Sonja Birthisel, Julie Macuga, Cody Pajic, and Leif Taranta) ascended and chained themselves to the top of large machines attempting to lay pipe at an adjacent construction site in St. Louis County.

Since construction began in December of 2020, the movement to stop the Line 3 pipeline has been steadily growing. Over 200 water protectors have been arrested protesting construction, making this the largest pipeline protest since Standing Rock. Several of the people participating in this morning’s action with Camp Migizi traveled across the country to join the resistance.

Dr. Sonja Birthisel, when asked why she was willing to risk arrest to stop construction, said “As an environmental scientist, I am painfully aware that it is time to transition away from fossil fuel dependence. I am here to stand for treaty rights, and the right to a livable future.”

Line 3 is a $4 billion dollar oil pipeline currently being built across Northern Minnesota by the Canadian corporation Enbridge Energy. The project aims to replace and expand the aging and corroded original Line 3 pipeline, which carries tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to Superior, WI. The existing Line 3 is responsible for the largest ever inland oil spill in US history, in which nearly 1.7 million barrels of crude oil spilled in Grand Rapids MN in 1991. Despite promises to bring needed income to Minnesota residents and hire 75% local workers, only a third of employees constructing the new pipeline are from Minnesota.

Construction faces active and growing resistance led by Indigenous groups who see the project and the risk of a spill as a violation of treaty rights. The pipeline threatens wild rice lakes in treaty territories where the Anishinaabe have the right to hunt, fish, and gather. Opponents also decry the project’s contribution to the epidemic of MMIWR (missing and murdered Indigenous women and relatives) caused by the hundreds of temporary workers employed by the project.  Environmental groups are concerned about the pipeline’s contribution to climate change. Oil from the tar sands is the world’s most carbon-intensive fuel, and the expanded Line 3 would carry as much carbon as 50 new coal-fired power plants.

Interviews with movement leadership and photos available upon request.

 

###

Two Line 3 actions today!

pic via Giniw Collective

cross-posted from Camp Migizi and the Ginew Collective

from Resist Line 3 Media: “We wanted to amplify two actions taking place on the front lines of the Line 3 resistance movement today. Both Camp Migizi and the Giniw Collective are shutting construction down!”

From Camp Migizi: A lockdown at a construction site in St Louis county. Find more information on Instagram, Twitter, and from the live streams on their Facebook page.

From the Giniw Collective: 7 water protectors locked down at a Line 3 pump station. Boost this action on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!
March 18, 2021
Water Protectors Blockade Line 3 Pump Station
(Swatara, MN) Thursday morning, 7 water protectors locked to each other, blocking work on an Enbridge Line 3 pump station.
Enbridge announced it will be ceasing work in sensitive wetland areas per Minnesota law, but will continue work on pump stations and sites in “non-sensitive areas”. A steady stream of water protectors committed to stand with Anishinaabe treaty territory and future generations grows.
The action follows a visit to the Line 3 resistance by Oscar-winning actress Jane Fonda, who is helping to bring the Ojibwe-led struggle into the national spotlight and reach the Biden administration. It is also the week of Representative Deb Haaland’s confirmation as the first Native cabinet member in U.S. history.
As the spring thaw comes to northern Minnesota, the trees are running with maple sap and many Ojibwe have begun the boil for syrup. Water is life, and it takes many forms. It is on us to protect our Mother.
Water protector Dakota McKnight said, “Today I am participating in direct action to against the Line 3 pipeline. I am a student at Macalester College, which is shamefully invested in Enbridge. As person who is of settler descent, I stand in solidarity with the Indigenous people who been fighting colonialism since the Inception of America.”
Water Protector Quintin Grabowski of Bear Lake, Michigan, said, “I am here to take action in solidarity with Natives who are fighting this pipeline that is desecrating the land. When institutions fail us, direct action is one of the last mechanisms that hold our power.”
***

Macalester College: Students launch blockade during statewide day of action in solidarity with the movement to #stopLine3

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 3/5/2021

Contact:  Priscilla Trinh, UMN Student, primoria1890@gmail.com for general inquiries, and to be connected with student press contacts at each school

Photos: find more photos of the day here

Macalester College students blockade Grand Avenue during statewide day of action at Minnesota schools in solidarity with the movement to stop Line 3 

(MINNESOTA) Today, hundreds of Minnesota college and university students are staging demonstrations on their campuses to raise awareness of the Line 3 pipeline, and to call on their institutions to divest from fossil fuel industry projects. Students from the University of Minnesota Morris, UMD, UMN Twin Cities, Carleton College, St Olaf College, The College of St Benedict’s, Gustavus Adolphus College, and Macalester College have been collaborating to plan this day of action for months. b`

Emily Wittkop, a junior at the University of Minnesota Morris said, “I’m fighting Line 3 for several reasons – the danger to our environment, the violation of Minnesota’s treaties, the impact of oil on the world’s political climate. I’m also pushing the University of Minnesota to begin fossil fuel divestment so that the financial investments of UMN matches their stated mission and the will of the student population that pay so much for their education here.”

For this statewide day of action, student activists at 8 Minnesota schools are staging art installations, hosting protests, and talking with their peers about how their schools are funding construction of the Line 3 pipeline. (More information about each school’s activities available upon request.)

At Macalester College in St Paul, 350 students have blockaded the city street, Grand Avenue, that runs through the campus. Dozens of Macalester students, alumni, faculty, and staff have been involved in the Line 3 resistance movement over the years, and several have even been arrested protesting on the frontlines in recent months.

Helen Meigs, a Macalester senior, said “We are out here today because it is unethical for Macalester to claim that they are preparing us for the future when their investments are part of the system robbing us of that very future. Macalester’s investments in Enbridge support a pipeline that will have devastating consequences for global climate change, a pipeline that when it spills, will poison the drinking water of millions along the Mississippi, a pipeline that violates the treaty rights of the Anishinaabe people. We are here today in solidarity with the indigenous water protectors up north and to call on Macalester to stand with us and divest to stop Line 3.”

Students from the 8 participating schools have been collaborating to prepare for today’s activities for months. Connecting over zoom meetings and workshops, they’ve developed a community and had space to discuss their shared values and visions for a better world. It was those relationships that pushed two Macalester College seniors to reinvigorate their divestment campaign with a proposal to the Macalester Board of Trustees specifically calling on them to divest from Enbridge Energy in protest of the Line 3 pipeline. Most of the participating groups have made ongoing or past fossil fuel divestment asks of their schools’ administrations.

The coalition of Minnesota schools also collaborated with students from around the US and Canada to plan the Student Divestment Virtual Rally to #Defund Line 3 for today at 3 pm.

###

On the Anniversary of a Catastrophic Oil Spill, Water Protectors Rally Against the Line 3 Pipeline

cross-posted from Giniw Collective

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: giniw@protonmail.com
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”