The joint Tar Sands Team of 350 Madison and the Wisconsin chapter of the Sierra Club is working in solidarity with people across the Midwest to stop Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline. Line 3 would transport nearly a million barrels of tar sands oil each day from Alberta, Canada, to Superior, Wisconsin. Enbridge, a Canadian pipeline company responsible for the largest inland oil spills in US history, wants to run the pipeline through untouched wetlands and the treaty territory of Anishinaabe peoples, through the Mississippi River headwaters to the shore of Lake Superior.
On November 13, 2020, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz approved the permits for the new Line 3, and Enbridge started construction the next day. As you read this, Enbridge contractors are at all the Line 3 stream and river crossings across 1851 treaty land in northern Minnesota tearing out trees and traditional medicines.
Enbridge is racing to finish all the water crossings before the many lawsuits challenging the unpopular decision can be heard and decided. These suits have a good chance of reversing the decision, but Enbridge’s plan is to tell the judge, “We just spent a half a billion dollars on this line — are you going to tell us we have to tear it out?”
“I have six charges against me for this pipeline. I am not a criminal, I’m a water protector. At a certain point, someone has to ask what is right about a Canadian multinational financing the police force in your state to put in a pipeline with so much conflict….
Imagine if there are 50 or 200 people facing cops and it’s 10 below zero. You know what’s coming? Spring. And more people will come, more water protectors will come. I guarantee you that.”
— Winona LaDuke, Interview on PBS, 3/6/21
You can help!
Lawsuits are being brought by Friends of the Headwaters; Honor the Earth, Red Lake and White Earth Nations, and Sierra Club; the Minnesota Department of Commerce; the Youth Climate Intervenors; and the Fond du Lac, Mille Lacs, Red Lake, and White Earth Bands of Ojibwe. All of the litigants have solid legal arguments and skilled lawyers, but litigation takes a lot of money.
Just as at Standing Rock, water protectors in Minnesota are putting themselves on the line each day for the environment and us. Here are some ways that you can help:
- Join water protectors in northern Minnesota.
- Send material support.
- If you can’t be there, you can help water protectors stay there. You can donate directly to water protectors at the frontlines at bit.ly/stoppipeline3. (This is the donation page of the Giniw Collective, referenced on their Facebook page. The Giniw Collective is an indigenous women–led frontline resistance group.)
- Buy gift cards for water protectors to use in northern Minnesota. Check out this Google doc to learn what stores they patronize and how to buy and send gift cards.
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