“We Won’t Stop”: Pipeline Enemies Ready for America’s Biggest Environmental Struggle | US News

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AAs the sun set, more than 12 young people carried a wooden bridge to the narrow part of the Mississippi River. The bridge made it easier for the group to cross from their campsite to where a huge pipeline was being built on the other side.

They were cited for trespassing, but symbolically claimed the wetland landscape.

That same day, Dawn Goodwin’s voice was soft, yet powerful, and addressed the camera. “Our treaty is the highest law in the land, so I ask you to keep our treaty. “

Goodwin, an environmental activist from Ojibwe, recorded a live broadcast from a scenic campsite surrounded by the natural beauty of northern Minnesota. She and dozens of others gathered to protest the construction of the Line 3 pipeline.

Across the state, along the planned construction route of the pipeline, activists traveled from across the country to do the same: many set up on construction machinery, and hundreds I was arrested. Goodwin’s preferred method of protest was probably not physical and was conducting a four-day prayer ritual, but it is less effective to draw attention to the potential damage the pipeline represents. I hoped there weren’t any.

“We messed up the process and we trusted him because it failed after all,” she said. “What do I trust instead?” The power of the people and of the Creator.

Proposed Line 3 pipeline – If extended, crude oil will travel from Alberta, Canada via Minnesota Wisconsin – Soon to become the number one target for US conservationists. As well as attracting protesters from across the country, he’s so far filled with Biden on the climate crisis, saying he could step in to stop the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure, but has failed to do so. . Attention is paid to no promises. The United States is already producing more oil than is available and increasing its oil and gas exports, despite its commitment to reduce its climate pollution.

The increase in protests in Minnesota comes shortly after a major environmental victory in which developers cancel the Keystone XL pipeline. This is what indigenous activists fought for about 10 years. The promoters now see line 3 as the last frontier of environmental justice. This is in part due to the risk to the waterways on which Native Americans depend.

“Line 3 must also be closed, for all reasons such as the closure of Keystone XL,” said Collin Rees, campaign manager at OilChange International. “We understand more and more that we cannot continue to develop fossil fuels. “

If the pipeline moves forward, the Biden administration will undermine its authority in international climate negotiations, Reese said. Other countries – including Denmark, Ireland and Spain – have a decision to ban future licenses for oil and gas drilling.

The 52-year-old pipeline, operated by Canadian energy company Enbridge, deteriorated and was replaced. The other two bridged pipelines suffered major spills. But the alternate lines are on a whole new route that crosses rivers, lakes and wetlands. “I don’t know what would happen if there was a spill. We don’t fully understand the underground. We want to think we do, but we don’t. Goodwin said.

Goodwin is a “protector of water” and is the name of Native Americans and allies participating in resistance to fossil fuels, especially oil pipelines.

Environmentalists also fought the Dakota Access Pipeline, drawing activists from around the world to Standing Rock in 2016 and 2017.

Activists build a bridge over a narrow section of the Mississippi River. Photo: Sheila Regan / Guardian

It is often a physically strenuous form of activity and is not without legal risk. Many states have started. Harsher sanction for demonstrators violating oil and gas infrastructure. However, campaigners say the water protection strategy has proven effective in canceling the Keystone XL pipeline.

But the movement was frustrated: a federal judge in Luigisana recently. I was stuck The Biden administration suspended some oil and gas leases. And as a hurdle for Line 3 opponents, a Minnesota court recently upheld Embridge on a permit challenge.

Tara Houska, tribal lawyer and founder of Giniw Collective, which has protested against the pipeline for years, called the decision a “disappointment” but said the fight was underway.

“I can’t stop, and we can’t stop,” she said.

Recent escalation

Since December, protesters have secured camps, prayers and space. But they are in an even more extreme situation. In March, Johnny Barber tied his neck to Embridge’s gate in a statement to the pipeline.

It was inspired by Standing Rock, a native-led movement to resist the Dakota Access Pipeline, which centers on a water conservation camp near where the pipeline was built. Based on the sovereignty and cultural protection of indigenous peoples and beliefs in environmental issues, it has brought together allies from around the world.

“The standing rock was a turning point in the fight to stop these pipelines,” Barber said. “At that point, I promised that I would be able to participate in the next battle.”

“People are fighting this pipeline in many ways,” said Taisha Martineau, a water warden in Ojibwe, which is part of the camp. Mgizi, Land near the route of the Cloque pipeline. Martineau was angry and hurt when she started. One of the reasons is that his hometown reservation agreed with Embridge to build a line through the reservation.

Signing of a demonstration at Firelight Camp, where Dawn Goodwin leads a four-day prayer ritual. Photo: Sheila Regan / Guardian

“I was fighting just to be there,” she said, referring to the tensions with members of her tribe. Since then she has found a sense of community with other water keepers and has seen her work change. “I screamed in the riot police line and decided to pray for these easements in the sheriff’s department,” she said.

Martinez said the power of prayer had brought her to the source. “I’m not tied to machines today because I realize that respecting our treaty doesn’t have to come from a place of anger,” she said.

“It was the women here who told me that it was time to stand alongside the women here, so I was here in solidarity and I was learning my place when I was young. Spirit Masu Two, learn where to stand when you reach the goal of stopping the third line. “

During the first week of June, more Line 3 protesters from across the country flocked to northern Minnesota. As of June 7, around 200 people had been arrested. According to the report, around 2,000 conservationists arrived at White Earth Reservation one day ago for three days of training. The people of the treaty meet.

Keya Chatterjee, head of the US Climate Action Network, said the nonprofit policy department joined three buses from Seattle, Spokane and North Carolina.

By noon, she said, a customs and border protection helicopter had arrived. “”[It] I just started to harass terribly and flew really, really low and stirred up the dust. Nine people in his group have been arrested, Chatterjee said.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Grand Forks, the agency responded to requests from local law enforcement agencies regarding reports of trespassing on private property. “The headquarters of the CBP are investigating the facts to determine exactly what happened and whether the measures taken were justified,” he read in a statement from the authorities.

“All appropriate actions are based on the facts learned, such as the case itself and the applicable policies and procedures of government agencies. “

Fight for treaty rights

Activists say this extension is the right to hunt, fish, harvest wild rice, and protect the cultural resources of the Ojibwe people, as the bridges require access to treaty land to complete construction. He also says he will question a long-standing deal to be secured.

“Our local government and the federal government are violating the treaty by allowing them to go through this pipeline,” said Nancy Beaulieu, an Ojibwa woman who co-founded the Rise coalition with Goodwin. ..

“We are here to create the position of all living things,” Beaulieu said. In addition to asking Biden to terminate the crossing permit, she wants to ban the state from needing more water in Embridge. “Think about the drought we are facing,” she said. “Our water level is already very low.”

In the past, the courts have upheld the American treaty with the Ojibwa. Decision of the Court in 1999 As stipulated in the treaties of 1837 and 1854, the Ojibway have the right to hunt, fish and gather.

Other activists take a more direct approach. At the end of last year, 52-year-old Indigenous activist Tania Orbid built a prayer lodge near the Mississippi. Its plan was to obstruct the pipeline, and it has retained its cultural location ever since.

In early June, Orbid visited the lodge while law enforcement was praying and said she was in violation. At this point, Orbid pointed out that the prayer pavilion was a cultural resource protected by the authorities of the 1855 Convention.

Police have left, but prayer lodges reveal what Indigenous activists have been saying for years. Further development of oil and gas infrastructure is in direct conflict with the lifestyles of indigenous peoples and the health and safety of indigenous peoples who depend on the land. In development.

For now, Aubid is convinced that his message has been conveyed. “Here they know what we can do to protect the territory of the 1855 Convention,” Orbid said.

“We Won’t Stop”: Pipeline Enemies Ready for America’s Biggest Environmental Struggle | US News

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