Hundreds Block Line 3 Pipeline Work Station
Indigenous leaders, actress Jane Fonda and more than one thousand water protectors march to the headwaters of the Mississippi River
SOLWAY, Minn. (KVRR) – Indigenous leaders, actress Jane Fonda and more than one thousand water protectors march to the headwaters of the Mississippi River where the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline is proposed to cross the water.
They were so determined to stop it, they chained themselves to equipment.
Hundreds of protesters led by the Treaty People Gathering rallied and marched into a construction site operated by Enbridge Energy to stop production of the $4 billion pipeline project.
“This is what it takes to stop the destruction of the sacred. It takes people. It takes bravery. It takes understanding what’s really important what’s really important to us is our water,” Tara Houska said.
Some climbed ladders and locked themselves to equipment while others blocked the entrance and stood locked arm in arm.
“There is absolutely no question that President Biden can shut down the pipeline. There is no question,” Actress Jane Fonda said.
“People here are going to bear the biggest front of this pipeline this nation needs to end its dependence on fossil fuels but more importantly it needs to honor its agreements it made long ago with Indigenous people and I am here to support that,” Actress Taylor Schilling said.
Enridge released a statement regarding the protest in part saying “The damage done by protesters is disheartening. We respect everyone’s right to peacefully and lawfully protest, but trespass, intimidation, and destruction are unacceptable. ”
“The water belongs to the fish the water belongs to the little clams the water belongs to the muskrats and beaver it doesn’t belong to Enbridge,” Winona LaDuke, said.
Enbridge’s Full Statement :
The damage done today by protesters is disheartening. We respect everyone’s right to peacefully and lawfully protest, but trespass, intimidation, and destruction are unacceptable. Our first priority is the safety of all involved – our workers, men and women in law enforcement and the protestors themselves. Today 44 workers were evacuated from the site, including ten employees of Native owned contractor Gordon Construction from the White Earth Reservation. Over 500 native workers are part of the Line 3 workforce. The project is already providing significant economic benefits for counties, small businesses, Native American communities, and union members – including creating 5,200 family-sustaining construction jobs, and millions of dollars in local spending and tax revenues.
We hoped all parties would come to accept the outcome of the thorough, science-based review and multiple approvals of the project. Line 3 has passed every test through six years of regulatory and permitting review including 70 public comment meetings, appellate review and reaffirmation of a 13,500-page EIS, four separate reviews by administrative law judges, 320 route modifications in response to stakeholder input, and reviews and approvals from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (The only Tribe with “Treatment as a State” water quality authority along the pipeline route).
In fact the leadership of the two reservations crossed by current Line 3 have repeatedly expressed their support for Line 3’s permits. Many of the groups involved in the Treaty People Gathering were parties to the review process…and during the past six years have repeatedly provided input that was heard and acted upon.
To date protests, including today’s, have had relatively little impact on the project’s construction schedule which is on track across five different construction zones working simultaneously along more than 330 miles replacing Line 3 in northern Minnesota. The project is on schedule to be complete and in service in the fourth quarter of this year.