Hundreds gathered in northern Minnesota Monday as part of a four-day protest against Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement project in what organizers are calling the largest resistance to the pipeline yet.
After years of legal battles, Enbridge is now in the process of replacing its deteriorating 1960s-era infrastructure, which cuts across northern Minnesota for 337 miles. A ruling from the Minnesota Court of Appeals that is expected later this month could still stall the project, according to the Associated Press.
Activists hope to pressure President Joe Biden into canceling the project, like he did with the Keystone XL pipeline on his first day in office.
Hundreds participated in a march to protest the pipeline while others trespassed on a Two Inlets pump station near Park Rapids and chained themselves to construction equipment. Official numbers haven’t been released, but the Giniw Collective, one of the groups behind the demonstration, is reporting that a total of 200 arrests have been made thus far.
“Twenty four Water Protectors locked themselves to machinery inside the pump station and were eventually arrested. Another group attached themselves to a boat blockading the access road, with some still locked down this morning,” the group said Tuesday.
The Giniw Collective and its allies have a long history of disrupting work on the pipeline by shutting down roads, chaining themselves to construction equipment, and occupying pieces of pipe. According to one protester, this is what it will take to force the president to act.
“If Joe Biden is not willing to hear what we’re saying and do something about it, then we’re going to make him, we’re going to push him. We’re going to mobilize our people. We’re going to mobilize our nations, like we’re coming for our land back,” she said.
“Whether Joe Biden decides to listen or not, we’re going to continue to advocate for ourselves,” she added. “We don’t acknowledge this settler system, we don’t acknowledge the presidencies. They don’t acknowledge us.”
The disruptions are expected to continue throughout the day Tuesday and possibly later into the week.