Two anti-pipeline protesters were arrested Wednesday in Hubbard County, Minnesota, after locking themselves to an excavator for more than five hours.
According to a press release from the Giniw Collective, the excavator in question was being used for a pump station along Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline near Two Inlets, Minnesota. The Canadian energy company received crucial permits from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency last week for its Line 3 replacement project.
Enbridge needs just a federal permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and a construction permit from the Minnesota DNR before it can begin replacing the aging pipeline. The 1,097-mile crude oil pipeline cuts across northern Minnesota for 337 miles, near various reservations.
“I grew up in Nebraska hearing about the devastation the Keystone pipeline would cause, so when I moved to Minnesota and learned about Line 3, I felt called to take action. Even if I can’t stop something on my own, it’s vital to have many people in the movement standing in solidarity,” said Betsy Foy, one of the protesters who was arrested.
According to the group Resist Line 3, the two protesters were arrested Wednesday by the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office and released from jail Thursday afternoon.
“Having grown up on occupied Anishinaabe and Dakota land, I feel a responsibility to defend that land and the rights of the people who have a relationship to it. If the U.S. government won’t defend Anishinaabe treaty rights, we will. If the Minnesota government won’t protect the water, we will,” added Mira Grinsfelder, the other arrested protester.
Grinsfelder and Foy were joined by a group of several other protesters, who chanted, “Enbridge kills! Enbridge lies!”
Winona LaDuke, executive director of Honor the Earth, said officials “can be sure that this pipeline project will be met with resistance” in a recent interview.
LaDuke was one of 12 members of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Environmental Justice Advisory Group who resigned Tuesday in protest of the MPCA’s decision to grant Enbridge a water quality permit.
A joint resignation letter accused the MPCA of waging “war on black and brown people.”