Indigenous Matriarchs Also Risk Potential Arrest in the River
Photos by Keri Pickett
"(Palisade, MN) -- 07/06/2021 -- Early Tuesday morning, dozens of water protectors standing in solidarity with Indigenous-led resistance shut down work at a Line 3 construction site by locking themselves to equipment and building several blockades on access roads. Two people surrounded by flowers locked themselves inside of a vehicle, while two others locked to drilling equipment inside the site. Most likely they will face arrest sometime today.
Dozens more joined Indigenous matriarchs Winona LaDuke, Executive Director of Honor the Earth, and Tania Aubid to stand in the river in prayer. Over 500 water protectors have been arrested since construction began as resistance to the pipeline continues to escalate."
AUBID, SPEAKING FROM THE RIVER, SAID, “
MINNESOTA, YOU WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE ALONG WITH THE FEDERAL AND CANADIAN GOVERNMENTS FOR THE GENOCIDE OF MOTHER EARTH.” LADUKE ADDED, “WE HAVE BEEN TRYING FOR MANY YEARS AND MOONS TO STOP ENBRIDGE, BUT HERE WE ARE ON THE WILLOW RIVER WHERE ENBRIDGE WANTS TO CROSS IT BY DIGGING UNDERNEATH IT. BUT WE THE PEOPLE ARE HERE IN THE RIVER BECAUSE THE RIVERS BELONG TO THE FISH, THEY BELONG TO THE ANIMALS, AND THEY BELONG TO THE PEOPLE. THEY DON’T BELONG TO ENBRIDGE. SO THE PEOPLE ARE PROTECTING THE RIVERS.”
This action took place at the Willow River, a part of the Mississippi watershed, where the Canadian corporation Enbridge is attempting to drill under the waterbody using a technique known as horizontal directional drilling (HDD). The method carries the risk of discharging drilling mud and chemicals into the river, known as a “frac out”. Enbridge calls this construction a “replacement project”, omitting the fact that the new Line 3 pipeline is larger and would nearly double its capacity to carry oil. Opponents of the project say the risk to water is unacceptable, as the new route crosses through hundreds of acres of wetlands and over 200 bodies of water.
TAYSHA MARTINEAU, SPEAKING ABOUT THE ACTION, SAID,
“We can not allow them to take these rivers, Enbridge was given a cease-and-desist notice in order to protect the ceremonial lodge. The state of Minnesota has refused to abide by that order and so action was taken. Abide by the order or we will continue to use people power to shut it down”.
ONE OF THE WATER PROTECTORS LOCKED DOWN INSIDE THE SITE SAID,
“Line 3 is a catastrophic threat to the land, the water, the people, wild rice, and the climate. This pipeline violates the treaty rights of the Anishinaabe and is not being built with Indigenous consent. Enbridge has a long history of spills, many of which occur in the first 10 years of a pipeline operating. They do not care about the land, the people, or their workers. They only care about the money, so we are putting pressure on their pocketbooks by slowing the progress of Line 3 until we stop it altogether. Polluted water, land, and rapid climate change are threats to us all, and Line 3 will cause unpredictable levels of damage if it becomes active. Actions like this one are a fight for all of our survival, and should be seen as nothing less.”
Read the rest of the article on StopLine3.org for more information: https://www.stopline3.org/news/willowriver-shutdownconstruction
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