cross-posted from the Giniw Collective
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 7, 2021
Two Indigenous Water Protectors Ascend Trees and Stop Line 3 Construction
(Lake Washburn, MN) Today, 2 Indigenous water protectors blockaded an Enbridge Line 3 worksite in tree sits directly anchored to the pipeline, while 2 others crawled into a pipeline segment. The sits follow 14 lockdowns at another Line 3 worksite last week, including one Indigenous matriarch.
Enbridge has begun drilling rivers across northern Minnesota, including the Willow River, where it appears construction hit an aquifer while drilling yesterday. Drilling mud was documented spreading into the river as a “spill kit” sat ashore.
Police repression has dramatically escalated in recent weeks, as Hubbard County sheriffs blockaded Namewag camp and continue to randomly issue citations since the initial riot line. One vehicle was cited while attempting a water delivery to the private property encampment.
Over 500 people have been arrested to date fighting Line 3 destruction of Anishinaabe treaty territory and expansion of the fossil fuel industry as climate crisis rages across the planet.
JD, White Earth Anishinaabe, said, “At this point it should be obvious why anyone would take action against the fossil fuel industry. The ocean is on fire, heat waves are killing people by the hundreds. We are in the middle of an extreme drought, our wild rice beds, lakes and rivers are drying up. And while they dig up our Mother for Line 3, the bodied of our relatives are being dug up from the grounds of boarding schools. They are people who were taken from us as children, who never got to have children of their own, to live their lives. I am thinking of generations of relatives that are not here with us. My elders, aunties, uncles, cousins, and peers I will never know on this Earth. But my Grandma survived and that’s why I am still here, proud to be Anishinaabe. These colonial governments have done everything they can to kill our land, kill our culture, kill our people, but they will never kill our spirit. We will never go willingly to our own destruction. So today I sit in the path of this pipeline, tomorrow it could be you.”
From inside the pipe, Water Protector Magpie said, “As a descendant of settlers, it’s my job to stand up to white supremacy, and doing what I can to disrupt projects like Enbridge’s Line 3, which perpetuates climate chaos and brings destruction and violence to Anishinaabe territory is part of that. We must do everything we can. We are running out of time.”
Giniw Collective is an Indigenous-women, 2-Spirit led frontline resistance to protect our Mother, defend the sacred and live in balance. We stand unafraid. Prayers into action. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @GiniwCollective
photo: Giniw Collective
cross-posted from the Giniw Collective
Statement on Line 3 Arrestees Still Being Held in Minnesota:
“After a mass action shutting down a Line 3 pump station, over 150 water protectors were arrested. Arrestees have since been transferred to Aitkin County, Kandiyohi County, Douglas County, Pine County, Todd County & Becker County. The counties are part of the 16-county Northern Lights Task Force, which has received significant funding from the Enbridge Corporation. To date, sheriffs have billed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Enbridge-funded and state-overseen Public Safety Escrow Account.
Some water protectors were held for 16 – 20 hours without being booked, denied medical prescriptions, denied medical attention despite multiple requests for aid, along with multiple violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act. In Kandiyohi County Jail, water protectors were denied their right to speak to an attorney, as friends and family members did not get to check in on the health and well-being of loved ones.
One jail support volunteer said, “Attorney Keith Ellison and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan must intervene and not allow these county agencies to grossly misuse their power.”
Water Protectors Keep Up Pressure on Line 3 Funders in Duluth
(Duluth, MN) On Wednesday morning, Water Protectors marched through downtown Duluth to call out Wells Fargo’s investments in Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline. Two people chained themselves to the front doors of the bank, shutting down the branch for nearly an hour. This is the second protest at this location this week, as opponents of the Line 3 pipeline escalate their opposition to the project’s financiers.
Protestors aim to challenge Wells Fargo’s investments in fossil fuel infrastructure, particularly the Line 3 pipeline. A report published last week by dozens of environmental nonprofits and research organizations identified Wells Fargo as the third greatest funder of fossil fuels among all banks. The movement to stop Line 3 is joined by organizations around the world in calling on banks and other financial entities to #DefundLine3 and all fossil fuel infrastructure.
Alex Golden-Wolf, a two-spirit Anishinaabe water protector, shared why they joined today’s rally: “I am marching today because I want my fellow neighbors of Minnesota to know the environmental impact that this pipeline will have on them.” Margaret spoke at the protest, saying “I’m shutting down this bank to let Wells Fargo, and other banks profiting from extraction and colonialism, know that we won’t allow it to happen anymore. Line 3 violates treaty rights, threatens the land and the water, and must be stopped.
This protest connecting fossil fuel investments to the Line 3 tar sands pipeline is yet another event in the growing movement resisting the pipeline. Since the Canadian energy transfer company Enbridge proposed the project in 2014, Indigenous communities and environmental organizations across Minnesota have resisted its permitting and construction. Although ongoing legal appeals have yet to be finalized in court, Enbridge was allowed to begin construction of the pipeline across Northern Minnesota in December of 2020. The movement is growing in numbers, and Indigenous-led direct action on the frontlines has delayed construction every week since it began.
Additional photos and interviews with movement leadership available upon request. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.