Line 3 Protest at logging site in Cass County, MN

pic via Northfield Against Line 3

cross-posted from Northfield Against Line 3

WATER PROTECTORS PROTEST TAR SANDS LINE 3 PIPELINE

A peaceful rally held in Northern Minnesota promoted Indigenous sovereignty and climate justice

CASS COUNTY, MN —  20 water protectors held a rally today at a logging site where workers had been patch clear cutting trees along the proposed route of Line 3, the proposed tar sands pipeline expansion owned by Canadian company Enbridge Energy. At 1PM, water protectors from across Minnesota, including organizers with Northfield Against Line 3, rallied for over an hour among large logging equipment and felled trees, chanting “Honor the Treaties!” and “Stop Line 3” before they left the site.

“We are here to send the message loud and clear: Line 3 will not be built! All pipelines spill, and Enbridge has deliberately misled the public. We need real climate solutions, and they must be rooted in honoring Indigenous sovereignty,” said Elizabeth (a pseudonym), one of the water protectors involved in the rally.

This afternoon’s acts of civilian oversight build off of a decade of growing opposition to the proposed Line 3 pipeline, which would transport 760,000 barrels of tar sands oil per day from Alberta, Canada to the western shore of Lake Superior. Despite facing significant delays in court, the company has allowed to begin what it calls “pre-construction,” making today’s intervention a necessary step in enforcing transparency along the proposed corridor. Line 3’s proposed route puts sensitive ecosystems at risk, including 15 watersheds and 215 lakes, and its associated carbon emissions would further destabilize the global climate. Enbridge is still waiting for the verdict on their 401 water quality permit, a crucial oversight from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

pic via Northfield Against Line 3

Today’s action highlights acts of patch clear cutting in a ecologically vulnerable area that directly abuts the proposed Line 3 expansion route. This logging of birch and pine trees is part of a legacy of abuse upon the land and the land’s original inhabitants by logging companies and the state government who bought the land cheaply, making way for decades of violent extraction. While the profits from rotating timber permits are supposed to support township services, the logging occurred in 1855 Treaty Territory, violating the rights of the Anishinaabe people to fish, hunt and gather, and make free, prior and informed decisions regarding any project.

“We must end the perpetuation of settler colonialism and cycle of mindless extraction. We’re here fighting for a livable future for all, because another world is not only necessary, but possible,” said Emerson (a pseudonym), another water protector involved in the action.

Buoyed by the actions of several groups opposing Line 3 in so-called Minnesota and beyond, today’s successful rally will no doubt continue to galvanize the wider movement to stop all fossil fuel projects, especially tar sands extraction, and demand climate justice. Activists came to observe and protest nearby logging to raise awareness of the devastating possibilities of business as usual.

Students Demand Stop Line 3 Action from Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz

from Northfield Against Line 3

Students Demand Stop Line 3 Action from Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz. Walz refuses dialogue

Over 40 students and community members protested Governor Tim Walz’s negligence and inaction at a moderated conversation between the governor and reporter Pat Kessler, hosted by Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota this morning. Protesters shut down the forum multiple times, with different groups addressing police brutality, climate and environmental justice, and MN state investments in the fossil fuel industry?. Onstage, Walz committed to dialoguing with protesters about their concerns after the forum ended; however, at the end of the event, protesters awaiting dialogue were informed the Governor would not speak with them.

At 10:15am, activists with Justice for Jamar called out questions about police brutality and state inaction from the audience. 15 activists, including family members of police murder victims, came to confront and question Governor Walz because he has refused previous communication. There was a verbal back and forth between Justice for Jamar activists, the moderator, Pat Kessler, and the Governor himself. Protestors were forced to leave the auditorium by police.

At 10:30am, following the forced removal and detainment of several nonviolent activists for the Justice for Jamar movement, the moderator asked Walz an audience question about Line 3: “Governor, why are you choosing to willingly create a public health crisis and put Native communities at risk by failing to oppose Line 3?”

Instead of responding to the question, Walz argued that he doesn’t have jurisdiction over the choices of the Public Utilities Commission or the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. He refused yet again to publicly comment on or recognize the detrimental effects of the Line 3 expansion project. If he regards the issues around climate change as seriously as he claims to, he would publicly denounce the project.

Line 3 protestors responded to the moderator’s question about the climate crisis by standing in front of the stage with banners reading “Stop Line 3” and highlighting Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The Line 3 activists were told that if they left, same as the Justice for Jamar activists, there would be a one on one meeting with the Governor to address these issues. This did not occur: the commitment the governor made was a lie intended only to remove activists from the audience.

Here are our questions for Governor Walz, should he have upheld his commitment to dialogue:

  • By what date will the Dept of Commerce appeal against the Certificate of Need be refiled? If you don’t have a date yet, when will you let us know a date?
  • Can you commit to following the science rigorously on the 401 water crossing certification, and when the science shows a denial, following through on that by denying

MN: Faith Leaders Read the Names of 227 Bodies of Water that Line 3 Will Cross

via Resist Line 3

Participants to Read the Names of 227 Bodies of Water that Line 3 Will Cross in Minnesota

MINNESOTA GOVERNOR TIM WALZ’S OFFICE PRESENTED WITH LETTER AND DEMANDS FEB. 19 SIGNED BY MORE THAN 570 FAITH LEADERS AND OTHERS OPPOSED TO THE TAR SANDS PIPELINE “AS A REAL THREAT TO WATER, CLIMATE AND INDIGENOUS SOVEREIGNTY”

More than 100 people gathered at the state capitol at Governor Tim Walz’s office to deliver a letter signed by more than 571 faith leaders  — including the Minnesota Council of Churches — and others opposed to the tar sands Line 3 in northern Minnesota, which “poses a real threat to water, climate and indigenous sovereignty.”

Minnesota’s own Dept. Of Commerce (DOC) has opposed this line since it was first proposed on analytical economic and environmental grounds, saying that Enbridge never demonstrated an economic need for the line (the oil will be shipped to foreign markets, and not used here), at a time when two major 2019 world reports that carbon emissions threaten to exacerbate climate change.  Mainstream climate and weather experts say is already being felt in Minnesota with increased precipitation and more severe storms.

via Resist Line 3

These issues were passionately argued recently by Public Utilities Commissioner Matthew Schuerger – a former supporter of the line — when he cast the lone PUC vote against approving the $2.6 billion project again.

“Since taking office, Governor Walz has vowed to uphold ambitious climate goals, but at the same time has avoided taking action to stop the largest proposed fossil fuel infrastructure project in the state,” says Julia Nerbonne, Executive Director of MNIPL).

“The Walz administration is poised to issue permits for 227 water crossings for this pipeline against the clear evidence of oil spill risk, broken treaties, and scientifically-vetted risks from climate change.  We join together as faith leaders to urge Governor Walz and other public officials to use their power to protect our sacred water.”

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MN: Water Protectors Stage Direct Action in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Fight Against the Coastal Gaslink pipeline

For immediate release: January 28, 2020 , 11:00 AM CST

 Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Water Protectors Stage Direct Action in Fond du Lac in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Fight Against the Coastal Gaslink pipeline

Photo included

Fond du Lac, MN. –– A group of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Water Protectors, blockaded an access road to a TC Energy work site where the Canadian company—formerly known as TransCanada—is performing work on natural gas lines on the Fond du Lac reservation. Today’s action is in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Nation’s fight to protect their traditional territories from fossil fuel expansion. The hereditary chiefs representing the five clans of the Wet’suwet’en are currently blocking construction on a section of TC Energy’s C$6.6-billion Coastal Gaslink pipeline, which would run through their ancestral lands in northern B.C.

“We will stand for no colonial resource extraction on Indigenous lands any longer, in solidarity with our Wet’suwet’en brothers and sisters in so-called Canada who are fighting the Coastal Gaslink pipeline,” said an Indigenous Water Protector. “We are a new generation of warriors and we have awoken with the call in our hearts to protect the sacred. It is no longer a rallying cry, it is something that we mean to live by.”

Local resistance to pipelines has been mounting in recent years in opposition to Enbridge’s proposed Line 3 tar sands pipeline which would violate Anishinaabe treaty rights to hunt, fish, and gather in their treaty territories. Line 3 and TC Energy’s gas pipelines threaten Indigenous sovereignty and full access to their lands.

“This is a call to arms from Indigenous elders who believe that showing solidarity with other struggles is very needed and very necessary in the fight moving forward,” said another Indigenous Water Protector.

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