I haven’t been keeping up with the developments of Line 3 and was astonished to learn nearly 600 water protectors had been arrested. But not at all surprised there has been so little media coverage.
Sadly, there have been so many similarities related to fossil fuel pipelines in the past. Since 2013 when a resistance movement was built against the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Some of that history follows.
Protection of the water is part of the concept of LANDBACK. An illustration of the need to return to the guidance of Indigenous peoples to protect Mother Earth.
Nearly 600 water protectors have been arrested during ongoing protests in Minnesota against the construction of the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline at the Shell River, which the partially completed pipeline is set to cross in five places. On Monday, authorities arrested Indigenous leader Winona LaDuke and at least six others. She was just released from jail yesterday and joins us after three nights in jail. LaDuke describes how the Canadian multinational corporation Enbridge, which is building the pipeline, has funded more than 40 police squads from around the state to crack down on protests, saying, “It is a civil crisis when a Canadian multinational controls your police force.” LaDuke is executive director of Honor the Earth. She says Enbridge’s efforts to finish construction come as investors are increasingly pulling out of the fossil fuels sector. “Who wants to have the last tar sands pipeline? It’s the end of the party.”Just Out of Jail, Winona LaDuke Decries Militarized Crackdown on Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline Protests, Democracy NOW, July 23, 2021
A FEW WEEKS before a controversial oil pipeline was approved for construction in his area, Aitkin County, Minnesota, Sheriff’s Deputy Aaron Cook bought a new assault rifle that cost $725. The purchase was part of an effort to standardize police weaponry, said Cook’s boss, the local sheriff, and was unrelated to the Line 3 pipeline being built by Enbridge. Cook himself, however, told the gun seller that Enbridge could play a role in boosting the agency’s arsenal.
“Our budget took a hit last week, so that’s all we will be ordering for now,” the deputy said in a November 2020 email about his purchase. “I’m hoping the pipeline will give us an extra boost to next year’s budget, which should make it easy for me to propose an upgrade/trade to your rifles rather than a rebuild of our 8 Bushmasters” — a reference to another make of assault rifles.
The email suggests that at least some law enforcement officers anticipate new policing resources if the pipeline, Enbridge’s Line 3, is completed.MINNESOTA POLICE EXPECTED PIPELINE BUDGET BOOST TO FUND NEW WEAPONS. The same cops tasked with policing resistance to pipelines anticipate financial benefits from oil companies moving into their areas by Alleen Brown, The Intercept, July 22 2021
This same unbelievable militarized response occurred during the Standing Rock gathering to protect the water from the Dakota Access pipeline. Police departments from several states came.
Last year militarized Royal Canadian Mounted Police invaded the Wet’suwet’en peoples’ land, yet again, to try to crush the resistance of the people trying to prevent the Coastal GasLink pipeline from being built through their pristine lands.
[ WARNING: This video contains graphic images of an armed threat on the lives of land defenders Denzel Sutherland-Wilson (Gitxsan) and Anne Spice (Tlingit). It may be traumatic for many to see. But we feel strongly that it should be available to witness. Denzel, Anne, and all the land defenders are now safe. These events took place during the RCMP raid on unceded Wet’suwet’en territory on February 7, 2020. The video was filmed by Gitxsan land defender Denzel Sutherland-Wilson from atop this tower. ]
Winona LaDuke mentioned Line 3 would create 23 jobs. Similarly proponents of the Keystone XL pipeline talked about how many jobs would be created when in fact less than 50 would be. After my letter was published in the Indianapolis Star, Senator Donnelly didn’t speak about jobs again.