Hundreds of demonstrators repeating “Stop Line 3!”, “Water is life!” and “Protect the water rights!” gathered at the headwaters of the Mississippi River in northern Minnesota today, vowing to do whatever it takes to stop a Canadian-based company’s plan to replace an aging pipeline that carries oil from Alberta, Canada to Wisconsin, USA.
Environmental and tribal groups say “Line 3 would violate the treaty rights of Anishinaabe peoples and nations in its path — wild rice is a centrepiece of Anishinaabe culture, it grows in numerous watersheds Line 3 seeks to cross. It’s well-past time to end the legacy of theft from and destruction of indigenous peoples and territories.”
“This is important. This is what we need,” actress Jane Fonda told The Associated Press, motioning toward the crowd as she held signs with President Joe Biden’s image that said, “Which side are you on?”
Enbridge says “the Project route, facility design, and construction procedures have been designed to minimize impacts on the environment. Environmental impacts related to construction of the pipeline will primarily be related to temporary disturbance to land, wetlands, and waterbodies.”
More than 300 groups delivered a letter to Joe Biden last month calling on him to direct the Army Corps of Engineers to suspend or revoke Enbridge’s federal clean water permit for the project.
Lynn Mizner, farmer says “We are not selling our soils for a barrel of oil.”
Protesters used a boat on a trailer to block the entrance to an Enbridge pump station south of the main protest site, and about two dozen chained themselves to construction equipment, Minnesota Public Radio News reported. A Border Patrol helicopter hovered about 20 feet (6 meters) off the ground, blowing up sand and dirt, to try to get protesters to leave.