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.
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.