Water Protector Climbs onto Section of Line 3 Pipeline to Prevent Damage to Pipe
[FOND DU LAC] Late Monday afternoon, three water protectors were arrested for blocking construction of Line 3. Two of the protestors were arrested while blocking the entrance to the site, while the third, Jeff Nichols, climbed onto a section of the pipeline dangling over a trench. Jeff sat on the pipe for nearly five hours, preventing workers from putting the pipe onto frozen sand bags which would have damaged the structural integrity of the pipeline.
In a Facebook livestream from Camp Migizi, a water protector camp based out of Fond Du Lac, Jeff shared that he felt compelled to act when he saw the workers were about to put the pipe into the ground onto frozen sand bags. In the livestream, it was also shared that OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, put out a mandate ordering Enbridge to not use frozen sandbags, as they force the pipe to bend, causing fractures and leading to spills.
On the livestream, Jeff can be heard saying, “It’s not even a question. This one will leak. The sandbags are frozen. You guys have already received violations for that” while other protestors shouted “all pipelines leak.”
Line 3, if built, would cross over 200 hundred bodies of water in Northern Minnesota, including the Mississippi River. Enbridge itself is responsible for numerous oil spills in Minnesota, including the largest ever inland oil spill in North America when nearly 1.7 million barrels of crude oil spilled in Grand Rapids.
For more information, contact Camp Migizi on Facebook.
(Backus, MN) Thursday morning, water protectors locked to each other inside a Line 3 pipe segment, halting construction at an Enbridge worksite as dozens more held space.
The site is a few miles from a large Enbridge man camp operating in the township of Backus, Minnesota. Enbridge is working 24 hours per day at several worksites, as a pending injunction to halt work while tribally-led lawsuits are heard has yet to be decided.
According to several cultural site maps, numerous sacred and significant sites lie in the path of the Line 3 project.
Water Protector Abby Hornberger said, “After moving to Minnesota to attend college and study environmental science, I was excited to be in a place where people valued protecting the earth and finding a viable future. What I found, however, was a state that had formed “ambitious” climate goals yet endorsed one of the dirtiest fossil fuels, tar sands oil. I realized that indigenous ways of knowing and practicing harmony with the environment are continuously ignored. The Line 3 pipeline far outweighs all clean energy initiatives and progress being made in renewable energies. Line 3 will destroy Minnesota’s essential clean water resources for future generations and will ultimately drive us into climate doom. Education and spreading awareness is no longer enough to create meaningful change for me.”
Hornberger continued, “Enbridge’s last ditch effort to build fossil fuel infrastructure is killing people and the planet. I refuse to be complicit in settler colonialist practices, and feel that I have to put my body on the line to protect indigenous communities’ sovereignty and all of our futures. This is not just an issue relevant to some, it affects each of us on a deeper level that goes beyond our daily lives. It determines if we will have a livable future.” Continue reading