“Restoring the country.” The struggle of the natives against line 3 is bent | Environmental news

Earlier this month, on a hot day amid a nationwide drought, thousands of people marched with placards on the Minnesota Highway near the Mississippi River, where the river begins 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) into the Gulf of Mexico.

It is also where the Canadian company Enbridge plans to bury the Line 3 pipeline.

The project, the largest in Enbridge history, will replace the 1,700-kilometer (1,000-mile) oil pipeline that runs from Edmonton, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin, and has for years been gripped by indigenous fears of climate change. change ահար violate contractual rights.

On June 7, the same day as the march, about 200 people set up tents on platforms built by the company to allow heavy equipment to roll onto swampy ground in an attempt to prevent construction.

Another group blocked the road to the Enbridge pumping station and locked in equipment. The US Customs and Border Protection helicopter was circling about 20 feet above the pumping station, raising a cloud of dust in an attempt to clear the protesters.

“They are exercising their contractual rights while in the camp,” said Albert Binesh, an environmental network organizer who traveled from Oklahoma to attend the march.

Defenders of Protect organize a camp on June 8 at the mouth of the Mississippi River, founded by local leaders and other activists. [Nicholas Pfosi/Reuters]

In the 1800s, the people of Ojibwa signed 44 treaties with the United States government, which created the state of Minnesota to guarantee tribal rights for hunting, fishing, and wild rice to collect sensitive sacred plants. Now they say that those rights are threatened by the construction of the pipeline, the oil spill and climate change.

In total, the police arrested 179 people, accusing them of violations, public unrest and illegal gatherings. Police posted photos at the pumping station showing the flat tires of the vehicles. Enbridge said 44 workers had been evacuated from the pumping station. “We respect the right of everyone to protest peacefully and lawfully, but violence, intimidation and destruction are unacceptable,” the company said in a statement.

Construction resumes

In early June, Ojibwe called on allies to join them in delaying construction and demanding that President Biden’s administration revoke Line 3 permits.

Biden canceled Keystone XL pipeline During his first week in office, արար the protesters want him to do the same for line 3. The administration officials had a special meeting with the opponents of the 3rd line, but his administration did not publicly address the 3 demonstrations in the line.

After a spring break in construction, work resumed this month to replace a corrosive, leaking pipeline. In Minnesota, the project takes a new route south of the original line, immersed in untouched waterways.

Upon completion, it will restore the original capacity of the pipeline to deliver 760,000 barrels of oil per day. The line carried bitumen, a heavy oil that sinks into the water, making it difficult to clean. Enbridge says the project will be completed by the end of the year.

From the company’s point of view, line 3 “passed every test”, completing a six-year regulatory process that included 70 public meetings, a 13,500-page environmental impact statement, four audits by administrative law judges, and 320 route changes in response to stakeholders. But the project faces many legal challenges with permissions.

Protest signs at Camp 3 against the Line 3 gas pipeline in Solway, Minnesota on June 8 [Nicholas Pfosi/Reuters]

Wider movement

The protests in Minnesota are linked to a growing movement against pipeline projects in North America. And Canada, “the United States tried to use the law.” boarding schools to extinguish the native culture, but the natives have preserved their traditions և take back the land. Indigenous women, in particular, lead this movement because their teachings dictate that they have a sacred connection with water.

Growing: Canadian oil sands, companies have worked for years to procure from local communities to build or expand pipelines on their land, although they agreed with many, others said no.

This lack of unanimous agreement is over We blockade their traditional site to stop the Coast GasLink pipeline, the Tiny House Warriors fighting against the expansion of Mount Trans, և especially the tens of thousands of people who gather Foot rock be against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Civil disobedience is just one strategy used against the pipelines. Indigenous communities have also challenged the courts to put pressure on banks to divert from fossil fuels. “When they assert their rights, indigenous people are investigated and arrested.” criminalized,

“Clean playground”

As the protests continued on June 8, Tania Aubid, a member of the Mill Lax Orchestra in Ojibwa, stayed out of the crowd.

Instead, he moved to a sacred lodge built by Vinona Laduk, CEO of Honor Country, a non-profit “Justice of Nature” Vinona Laduk. The hut stands in the middle of the 3rd gas pipeline route “Mississippi”, trying to prevent the construction in a peaceful way.

Upon his arrival, a live broadcast showed that the building was surrounded by several officers. Aubid said that his lodge was protected by the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. Contract body: 1855 Letter from the group representing the beneficiaries of the contract confirming that the area is protected. An officer with the badge of Aytkin told him that he was violating. “You know what you’re doing is wrong.”

“It’s not wrong.” Aubid answered.

The video shows an officer calling and then telling Aubid that he could stay. Al aze Azira sent questions about the incident to the sheriff of Aytkin district, the “Northern Lights” group, which is a coalition of law enforcement agencies controlling the 3rd line of protests, but no one responded to the publication in time.

Aubid told Al Jazeera that he built the lodge because he could perform his rituals for himself. “This is what my family and others who have been from these countries have been doing for millennia.” He said he was against the 3rd pipeline because it could have a healthy environment – a “clean playground” for future generations.

Indigenous leaders and activists take part in prayers along the Mississippi River during a protest against the Line 3 pipeline in Solway, Minnesota. [Nicholas Pfosi/Reuters]

Ground connection

After a year of coronavirus health measures, the vaccines have made it safer for large numbers of protesters to gather, for civil disobedience, for the resumption of mass arrests, and for the Biden administration to focus on climate change, all focusing on the Line 3 struggle. Visits of celebrities, politicians, including others from the Fine Fund Ilhan Omar also helped.

Albert said people from all over the world, from Honduras, Bangladesh, East Cherokee, North Carolina, Navaho, Apache, Arizona, attended the June 7 rally in Minnesota.

“It was wonderful for the local community to feel the support of people from all over the country, from all over the world,” Albert said by telephone as he and Simone Senogles, another Native Environment Network organizer, drove to a 200-person resistance camp this week in tents along the Mississippi River.

“For those who can get out of the Mississippi camp water, it restores the connection to the country,” Senogles said.

“It’s healing for us,” I think. “This kind of strategy is a very long-term thinking, where we occupy the country. is: “When you empower culturally indigenous people, that country is healthy.”

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