Hill City, MN: Water Protectors Block Line 3 Construction in Honor of Earth Day

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: media@resistline3.org

(Hill City, MN) Early Friday morning, five water protectors locked themselves into concrete barrels at the entrance of Swatara oil pump station, halting construction of the Line 3 Replacement project. This action was taken with Camp Migizi in recognition of Earth Day, coming a day ahead of “Stop Line 3 x Earth Day”, a march that will be taking place in Duluth, Minnesota. Two of the protestors sat behind a hand painted banner reading “Earth Day Every Day”, while other banners in front of the pump station gate read “No Pipelines on Stolen Land,” “Land Back,” and “Protect the Water.”

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, as the project endangers wild rice lakes in treaty territories where the Anishinaabe have the right to hunt, fish, and gather. There have been over 250 arrests made since construction began in December 2020, making this the largest pipeline protest since Standing Rock.

One of the water protectors present at the action decried the construction of Line 3 for breaking treaties and desecrating the land. In their words, “What Enbridge is doing is perpetuating that colonial cycle of violence and disregard, until we are at a point where our waters do not flow, and our grasses wilt and die, and all we have in common are fires, floods, state surveillance, and the thin, decimated ozone hanging low above our heads.”

Groups resisting Line 3 in honor of Earth Day cite the ecological destruction that is being caused by the pipeline, particularly the project’s contribution to climate change. Oil from the tar sands is the world’s most carbon-intensive fuel, and the expanded Line 3 would release as much carbon as 50 new coal-fired power plants. Enbridge calls this construction a “replacement project”, omitting the fact that the new Line 3 pipeline would nearly double its capacity to carry oil, all but guaranteeing that our state would not meet its emissions reduction targets. The new route also goes through hundreds of acres of wetlands and over 200 bodies of water untouched by infrastructure projects.

This action was taken in recognition of the colonial violence and ecological destruction that is being caused by the construction of Line 3, and in honor of Earth Day. As one of the Water Protectors present said, “We take this stand today, to celebrate creation in the face of tyranny.”

Additional photos and interviews with movement leadership available upon request.

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San Francisco: Action and March at Wells Fargo HQ and BlackRock Offices

photo credit: Brooke Anderson

cross-posted from Diablo Rising Tide

Livestream link: https://www.facebook.com/INMSolidaritySF/

San Francisco: Hundreds Demand Wells Fargo Ceases Funding the Climate Crisis; Demand Ousting of Its Board Chair Charles Noski over Failure of Leadership

Broad coalition of hundreds of Indigenous, youth, grandmothers, and other climate activists to block streets, hold rally, jointly painted giant mural outside Wells Fargo HQ to call out megabank for continuing to fuel the climate crisis

Groups are calling for accountability from Wells Fargo leadership, who continue to fail frontline communities, the planet, and future generations

From Wells Fargo HQ, they will march to BlackRock offices to demand the asset manager votes out Charles Noski during shareholder season

San Francisco — On Friday morning, hundreds of activists will take to the streets of San Francisco to demand Wells Fargo takes responsibility for its role in the climate crisis by immediately changing course. The broad coalition of groups are united in a call for Wells Fargo to defund the Line 3 pipeline and hold its leadership to account for failure to act on climate, beginning with the removal of Board Chair Charles H. Noski.

The action will be led by Indigenous, youth, seniors, labor, and other climate advocates, with groups involved ranging from NDN Collective and Idle No More to 1000 Grandmothers for Future Generations, Earth Guardians, Mennonites, and Silicon Valley Climate Action Now. The groups call for urgent climate action, a halting of the Line 3 Pipeline’s construction, and the termination of any corporate leaders not taking definitive measures to reverse their companies’ contribution to global emissions and fossil fuel expansion, on the grounds that they are not only incompetent, but a threat to future generations. The participating groups will jointly paint a 200’ X 25’ banner on Montgomery Street, outside of Wells Fargo HQ.

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/282846953288589

photo credit: Arthur Koch

The action began with a blockade of Montgomery Street outside of Wells Fargo Headquarters, where ten or more groups will paint large street murals demanding the defunding of Line 3, the firing of Noski, and the defense of land, water, and Indigenous rights. The murals will be surrounded by hundreds of socially distanced people, many holding signs with photos of younger relatives or friends, with the urgent call to “Protect Future Generations.” After a rally with numerous speakers, the groups will continue to BlackRock’s San Francisco Headquarters, where they will again block the street and hold a second rally, calling on the world’s largest investor (as well as Wells Fargo’s second largest shareholder) to use its voting power this shareholder season to vote out Charles Noski for his failure to incorporate climate change into his leadership of the bank.

Background: Wells Fargo has been the world’s third worst banker of fossil fuels since the adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement, with $223 billion in lending and underwriting between 2016 and 2020.  It is the world’s leading funder of fracked oil and gas.

Instead of taking the necessary action to end its funding of fossil fuel expansion, Wells Fargo continues to invest in and profit off the industries fueling climate change. That includes continuing to fund and advise Enbridge on its construction of the Line 3 pipeline, which would pump tar sands, the dirtiest form of oil, from Alberta, across Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The pipeline’s route endangers the Great Lakes, home to one fifth of the world’s fresh water, and some of the most delicate soils, aquifers, and pristine lakes in northern Minnesota, It also threatens critical resources on Ojibwe treaty lands, where tribal members retain the rights to hunt, fish, gather, hold ceremony, and travel. The pipeline would have a climate impact equivalent to bringing 50 new coal plants online or adding 38 million gasoline cars to the road. Line 3 and its route have seen escalating Indigenous-led dissent and pressure, with groups on the ground struggling to defend the land, water, and Indigenous sovereignty.

Because of Wells Fargo’s failure to respond to the struggle against Line 3, to stop funding climate chaos, or to realign its fossil fuel financing and policies to limit global warming to 1.5°C, groups like BlackRock’s Big Problem and Majority Action are calling on investors of Wells Fargo to vote hold Wells Fargo’s leadership accountable, beginning with the firing of Charles Noski.

The physical and financial risks posed by climate change to long-term investors are systemic, portfolio-wide, unhedgeable and undiversifiable. Therefore, companies like Wells Fargo that fail to align their business with limiting warming to 1.5°C pose risks to the financial system as a whole, and to investors’ entire portfolios.

Last year, groups demanded former oil man and climate-denial maven Lee Raymond be removed from the JPMorgan Chase board of directors. After a strong no vote, Lee Raymond left the board.

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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.

 

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Climate Activists March in San Francisco Financial District, Demanding Banks Defund Controversial Line 3 Pipeline

Climate Activists March in San Francisco Financial District, Demanding Banks Defund Controversial Line 3 Pipeline

San Fransisco: Today Diablo Rising Tide convened Bay Area climate justice groups and activists in solidarity with the struggle to stop the Line 3 pipeline. A 100 person march of shame” targeted the Wall Street West banks funding the hotly contested tar sands pipeline. Banks included Bank of America JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo and MUFG subsidiary Union Bank. All located in the Financial District, i.e. Wall Street West.

The struggle against Enbridge’s Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline is heating up in northern Minnesota, with Indigenous activists putting their bodies on the line to stop the pipeline and the harm it will bring to the environment and local communities. Over 200 ‘water protectors’ have been arrested and cited in dozens of actions along the pipeline construction route in recent months and solidarity demonstrations have spread nationwide.

In recent weeks activists from across the US, including the Bay Area, have traveled to Minnesota to occupy pipeline construction sites alongside Indigenous water protectors. At a number of separate camps, they have faced freezing cold temperatures and police repression. The massive pipeline expansion would carry foreign tar sands oil, one of the most polluting and energy intensive forms of fossil fuel in the world and would transport the carbon emissions equivalent of 50 coal fired power plants once operational.

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