60+ Water Protectors arrested

  1. PAUL, MN—On Saturday, August 28th, law enforcement arrested more than 60 individuals who were peacefully protesting outside the residence of Minnesota Governor Tim Walz. Demonstrators gathered with Line 3 pipeline resistance group Camp Migizi to demand that Walz take action to stop the Line 3 tar sands pipeline. Taysha Martineau, the camp’s founder and one of the Anishinaabe women leading the resistance to Line 3, chained herself through the bars of Governor Walz’s front gate. Law enforcement threatened the crowd with pepper spray, less than lethal munitions, and a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) before violently kettling and arresting dozens.

Speaking yesterday about her actions, Taysha Martineau said, “I’m here locked to the fence demanding that Governor Tim Walz speak to us. We’re calling on Governor Walz to pull the permits for Line 3 and demanding a federal Environmental Impact Statement for the project. Water protectors marched 256 miles from the headwaters of the Mississippi River to speak with this gentleman. He has not come to listen to their voices and so we came here. We’re here demanding that they hear us.”

The day began with more than 100 people marching to Walz’s residential mansion from the MN State Capitol, where water protectors spent last week holding ceremony and an enormous rally calling on Governor Walz and President Joe Biden to stop the Line 3 pipeline. Organizers at the rally read this statement to the crowd, calling on elected officials to take action. Water protectors were also arrested at the Capitol on Friday, when hundreds of state troopers forcibly interrupted Indigenous ceremony.  The Walz administration has not formally responded to or commented on last week’s Capitol events.

Water protectors with the movement to stop Line 3 have faced severe and escalating police repression since construction began last December. More than 800 people have been arrested for peacefully protesting along the pipeline route, with dozens facing felony charges. Recently, water protectors have been assaulted with chemical weapons, less than lethal munitions, and “pain compliance” tactics. State police agencies have taken significant funding directly from Enbridge Energy, owner of the pipeline, and recent investigative reporting shows intimate collaboration between Enbridge and law enforcement to respond to protests and non-violent direct action. Water protectors have criticized Governor Walz for allowing this police conduct to continue under his administration.

Indigenous water protectors and climate activists have fiercely opposed the Line 3 pipeline for many years over the threats the project poses to Anishinaabe treaty rights, Indigenous cultural resources, water, and the future of the climate. Since Governor Tim Walz was elected in 2018, water protectors and climate groups have called on the state’s leader to intervene in the Line 3 permitting process. Although prior to his election the Governor made statements opposing the project, he has since amended his position and neglected to intervene. As the construction of Line 3 nears completion, water protectors are increasing pressure on elected officials, urging the Biden administration to take action where Walz has not, and to revoke federal permits for the project.

(Contact Resist Line 3 Media Collective: media@resistline3.org)

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