Ac­tivists take di­rect ac­tion in con­tin­ued call to stop Line 3

Wisconsin Gazette - - Opinion - By Lisa Neff Staff writer

En­vi­ron­men­tal ac­tivists risked ar­rest Aug. 29 with a demon­stra­tion urg­ing Min­nesota Gov. Mark Day­ton to act im­me­di­ately to stop En­bridge’s Line 3 tar sands pipe­line project.

Par­tic­i­pants in­cluded tribal elders, en­vi­ron­men­tal and indige­nous ad­vo­cates and faith lead­ers.

Some ac­tivists gath­ered in Bemidji to en­gage in an act of civil disobe­di­ence — the oc­cu­pa­tion of a down­town in­ter­sec­tion for four hours.

Oth­ers staged a sit-in Day­ton’s of­fice. “We are call­ing on Gov. Day­ton to act. It is time for him to pro­tect Min­nesota from this dan­ger­ous tar sands pipe­line,” said Mar­garet Levin, di­rec­tor of the Sierra Club North Star Chap­ter.

Ear­lier this sum­mer, the Min­nesota Pub­lic Util­i­ties Com­mis­sion voted to ap­prove En­bridge’s proposal to re­place a por­tion of its Line 3 pipe­line against the rec­om­men­da­tions of the state depart­ment of com­merce, of­fice of ad­min­is­tra­tive hear­ings, pol­lu­tions con­trol agency and depart­ment of nat­u­ral re­sources.

The com­mis­sion also voted against the wishes of four tribal gov­ern­ments and thou­sands of Min­nesotans who par­tic­i­pated in the re­view process and op­posed Line 3.

The pipe­line will carry tar sands oil from the Athabasca River Basin in Al­berta. It risks spills in frag­ile ar­eas, in­clud­ing where Amer­i­can In­di­ans har­vest wild rice. Ojibwe In­di­ans, or Anishi­naabe, con­sider wild rice sa­cred and cen­tral to their cul­ture.

Line 3’s ter­mi­nal is in Su­pe­rior, Wis­con­sin.

“I am here to say, Bi­maadizi­win Nibi. Water is life,” said Wi­nona LaDuke, the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Honor the Earth who lives and works on the White Earth reser­va­tion in north­ern Min­nesota. “I am here to say that our state should not be mil­i­ta­rized and our peo­ple ar­rested and in­jured for a Cana­dian Pipe­line Co. I am here be­cause it is nec­es­sary to be here, to pro­tect our fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. I am a water pro­tec­tor.”

About 60 peo­ple par­tic­i­pated in the protest and sev­eral were de­tained by law en­force­ment.

“This dirty tar sands project is an­other ex­am­ple of the fos­sil fuel in­dus­try’s dis­re­gard for tribal sovereignty, clean air and water, and the health and safety of com­mu­ni­ties and the cli­mate,” said Ken­dall Mackey, a Keep it in the Ground cam­paigner for global group 350.org. “It’s time for Gov. Day­ton to show real cli­mate lead­er­ship by lis­ten­ing to the peo­ple of Min­nesota and stop­ping Line 3 for good.”

PHO­TOS: JAIDA GREY EA­GLE

Ac­tivists, in­clud­ing Wi­nona LaDuke of Honor the Earth, cen­ter, protest Aug. 29 in Bemidji, Min­nesota, urg­ing Min­nesota Gov. Mark Day­ton to im­me­di­ately stop En­bridge En­ergy’s Line 3 pipe­line re­place­ment project.

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