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In Minnesota, Native activists are fighting to stop a new pipeline planned to go under water sources

todayMarch 17, 2021 2 1

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According to the Stop Line 3 campaign, Line 3 is a pipeline expansion project that will bring almost one million barrels of tar sands per day from Canada across Minnesota to Wisconsin. “All pipelines spill. Line 3 isn’t about safe transportation of a necessary product, it’s about expansion of a dying tar sands industry,” the campaign argued.

The pipeline was proposed in 2014 by Enbridge, a Canadian pipeline company, which is responsible for the largest inland oil spill in the country. The company is looking to build a new pipeline through untouched wetlands and the treaty territory of Anishinaabe peoples. By doing so, the treaty rights of Anishinaabe peoples and nations in its path will be violated.

“That company, Enbridge. It’s a foreign company. It’s bringing oil from Canada,” Fonda said in a portion of her shared video. Fonda shared that she arrived with friends, “freshly vaccinated” to try to stop the pipeline replacement.

“We were driving down the highway and pulled over to see the impacts of the nearly 1 million barrels of tar sands per day being brought from Alberta, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin by Enbridge, a Canadian pipeline company responsible for the largest inland oil spill in the U.S.,” the caption on her video read. “Enbridge seeks to build a new pipeline corridor through untouched wetlands and the treaty territory of Anishinaabe peoples, through the Mississippi River headwaters to the shore of Lake Superior.”

She added that protests will continue over the next few days by the rivers being threatened, during which individuals will “pray and send and send a message to Enbridge that water is life.”

This isn’t the first protest Fonda has participated in. The actress has been known to partake in various protests for both human rights and climate change. Fonda’s name began trending on social media Monday with users noting that Fonda should be protected because of her dedication to such causes. But not all applauded her commitment—some took to criticizing her for past stances, including her views against the Vietnam War.


As protests continue, activists and those advocating against the pipeline are facing arrests. According to CNN, more than 130 people have been arrested in the past few months in relation to the Line 3 protests. Tribal attorney and activist Tara Houska told the outlet that while some were physically arrested at construction sites, police also watched social media feeds to identify others and sent a summons in the mail.

“They seem to think that it’s going to deter us from protecting the land. They are fundamentally missing the point of what water protectors are doing, which is willing to put ourselves our freedom, our bodies, our personal comfort on the line for something greater than ourselves,” Houska said.

Several direct actions are being taken in both the U.S. and Canada in efforts to stop the construction of Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline. Not only will treaties protecting Indigenous land and water be violated, but the barrels of tar sand oils will endanger lakes, rivers, and wild rice beds that Indigenous people rely on for nutrition.

“We can keep organizing, educating, and advocating to stop Line 3 and build the future we want. Legal and grassroots efforts have kept Enbridge’s Line 3 destruction at bay — it was supposed to be complete in 2017,” the Stop Line 3 campaign website read. “We are holding events in our homes, community centers, churches, schools, and online. We are talking to our politicians, speaking up at hearings, marching in protests, taking nonviolent direct action together, and reporting Enbridge’s activity along the proposed route. We are teaching and learning from each other. We are growing food and investing in renewable energy. Wherever you are and whatever your skill set, there is a place for you in the movement to stop Line 3.”

Last Thursday on March 11, Enbridge announced that it had completed 50% of the project. Segments in Canada, North Dakota, and Wisconsin are already complete. Prior to the construction, more than 20 federal state and local permits were needed for approval of construction. According to CNN, while Enbridge insists that it passed every federal, state, and tribal test, it has been rushing to complete the pipeline project before courts or others can stop it.

We must stop stealing the land, humanity, and rights of Indigenous people. Visit the Stop Line 3 campaign site to learn how you can help stop these violations and protect both Indigenous people and the environment.

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