by Ginew Collective / Rising Tide North America
Two Inlets, MN – This morning, two water protectors locked their bodies through the treads of excavators working on a pump station for Enbridge’s Line 3 tar sands pipeline, as dozens of others rallied in support.
Last week, Democratic Governor Tim Walz’s administration approved the last major permits needed by Enbridge, a Canadian multi-national seeking to build the Line 3 expansion project to carry Alberta tar sands to the shore of Lake Superior. The administration approved sending up to 1M barrels of tar sands per day through 212 water bodies and 818 wetlands in Anishinaabe treaty territory of northern Minnesota.
On Monday, the 12 of 17 members of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Environmental Justice Advisory Group resigned, calling the permit approvals a continuation of Minnesota’s “war on black and brown people”. George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, earlier this year.
When asked why they would take such a risk to their safety and freedom, Betsy Foy, 20, (St. Paul), said, “I grew up in Nebraska hearing about the devastation the Keystone pipeline would cause, so when I moved to Minnesota and learned about Line 3, I felt called to take action. Even if I can’t stop something on my own, it’s vital to have many people in the movement standing in solidarity.”
Mira Grinsfelder, 24, (St. Paul), said, “Having grown up on occupied Anishinaabe and Dakota land, I feel a responsibility to defend that land and the rights of the people who have a relationship to it. If the US government won’t defend Anishinaabe treaty rights, we will. If the Minnesota government won’t protect the water, we will.”