On Monday, more than 2000 water protectors gathered for Minnesota’s largest ever mobilization against the Line 3 tar sands pipeline, putting more pressure on the Biden administration to honor the Treaties and stop this toxic project.
In the biggest action yet against Line 3, over 500 water protectors shutdown the Two Inlets pump station in solidarity with Giniw Collective for over 29 hours and counting beginning Monday morning. Since construction on the pipeline began in December, over 200 people have been arrested and within one day that number almost doubled with nearly 200 arrested and dozens more cited. Twenty-four water protectors locked themselves to machinery inside the pump station and were eventually arrested. Another group of twenty-four attached themselves to a boat blockading the access road overnight, with arrests still happening on Tuesday afternoon.
Throughout the blockade of the pump station, police escalated tactics. Initially, law enforcement attempted to disrupt water protectors via a Department of Homeland Security helicopter flying at an unlawful height to kick dust and rocks into people’s faces. Police later deployed warning a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) without warning.
Concurrently, 1500 people marched to the spot where the Line 3 pipeline is scheduled to drill under the Mississippi headwaters and launched an ongoing treaty encampment in the path of the pipeline with 200 people camping overnight, led by the Rise Coalition. (Location on County Highway 40, at this link. Direct message Rise Coalition Facebook page for information on supporting and visiting.)
Special guests at the Treaty People Gathering included Jane Fonda, Catherine Keener, Rosanna Arquette, Taylor Schilling, and Bill McKibben.
Water protectors and a growing list of supporters including hundreds of faith leaders who gathered to support the water protectors are calling on President Biden to stop Line 3, which opponents say threatens Northern Minnesota’s waters, the global climate, and Anishinaabe treaty rights.
Though the Treaty People Gathering was scheduled to wrap-up on June 8th, the ongoing encampment and lockdowns demonstrate water protectors commitment to stop the pipeline.The Gathering brought new allies to the fight, bolstering the efforts of frontline and Indigenous groups to organize and expand the resistance.
Quotes from key leaders:
“We need to protect all that we have left of the sacred gifts and land. I said that I would do all that I could. And I have done all that I could in the legal system, thus far following that process. Now, they have failed us through regulatory capture and corporate financing. So now we need you,” said Dawn Goodwin of the RISE Coalition.
“This is, in the end, intended to be a 915,000-barrel-a-day tar sands pipeline, the largest tar sands pipeline in the world and the most expensive. It’s now a $9 billion project. Enbridge, the Canadian corporation, has been bringing oil into this country for years. They’re responsible for 75% of the tar sands oil that comes into the country, and they want to shove it through these lines,” said Winona LaDuke of Honor the Earth.
“We have very few options left. We are here to protect the water, the wild rice and the next seven generations of life. Keystone XL was stopped on the merits of environmental justice and treaty rights, this is no different. We demand President Biden take action now,” said Simone Senogles of the Indigenous Environmental Network and RISE Coalition.
“Our Mother is calling out, it’s time for us to listen or do the work to remember how. It’s also time for us to all stand with our words. The situation is urgent, it requires urgent response. Find your bravery, find your community, find your truth. Stand with us and Stop Line 3,” said Tara Houska for Giniw Collective.
Contact information for key frontline groups resisting the line 3 tar sands pipeline:
Giniw Collective: Tara Houska, Founder
Rise Coalition: Dawn Goodwin, Nancy Beaulieu, Co-founders
Contact: Jennifer Falcon [email protected]
Honor the Earth: Winona LaDuke, Executive Director
Contact: Martin Keller, [email protected] (612)220-6515
Multiple camps along the pipeline route are dedicated to nonviolent treaty-based resistance to the Line 3 tar sands pipeline including the Water Protector Welcome Center in Palisade, the Red Lake Treaty Camp, a camp on the Shell River, and the ongoing encampment near the Mississippi headwaters.
For information about faith leaders who participated in the Treaty People Gathering contact Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light (MNIPL), Julia Nearborne, Executive Director <[email protected]>.
Photos for use can be found in this folder. Credit “Giniw Collective” for all photos in the subfolder “From Giniw Collective”