The following communique and photos was anonymously submitted to It’s Going Down.
PARK RAPIDS – Early in the morning of June 6th, a group of trans, non-binary, and womxn activists fighting Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline rigged and anchored two large banners across the entrances of the Enbridge office in downtown Park Rapids, Minnesota. The banners read “Pipelines Poison Communities #StopLine3” and “Treaty Land is Tribal Land.”
The group took action in retaliation to a recent letter put out in the Star Tribune by Enbridge CEO Al Monaco, addressing “the people of Minnesota.” The letter stated numerous lies, including that the proposed pipeline route avoids indigenous land. However, the majority of the route crosses 1855 treaty land and has been fiercely opposed by all Minnesota tribes. Hence the banner, “Treaty Land Is Tribal Land.” Resistors flyered cars on the streets in Park Rapids with a debunked version of the letter, included below.
Local communities and activists all across Minnesota will be taking action throughout the month in anticipation of the final decision on project permits by the Public Utilities Commission on June 27th.
1. Enbridge says it avoids wild rice: The Line 3 preferred route would go through 41 wild rice watersheds, threatening 4000 acres of manoomin (wild rice).
2. Enbridge says it respects tribal sovereignty: The prefered route goes through 1855 treaty land — treaty land IS tribal land. All five directly impacted tribal nations are opposed to a new Line 3. Consultation is NOT consent. Man camps built to house pipeline workers will also bring a massive influx in crime, specifically violent crime against indigenous women. From The Atlantic: “In 2012, the tribal police department reported more murders, fatal accidents, sexual assaults, domestic disputes, drug busts, gun threats, and human trafficking cases than in any year before. The surrounding counties offer similar reports. But there is one essential difference between Fort Berthold and the rest of North Dakota: The reservation’s population has more than doubled with an influx of non-Indian oil workers—over whom the tribe has little legal control.”
3. Enbridge says it will keep prices from rising at the pump and end fuel shortages in Minnesota: There are no fuel shortages in Minnesota. Line 3 tar sands will almost entirely go to foreign market. Minnesota’s Department of Commerce did a full market analysis and found no need for a new Line 3 or the existing Line 3 for Minnesota’s energy needs.
4. Enbridge says it is committed to the people of Minnesota: Enbridge sued Minnesota for overpaying taxes, it is looking to collect $55M from Minnesota counties while waving its desired pipeline overhead. Worse, a catastrophic tar sands spill and cleanup liability falls to the state of Minnesota, not the company. While the company reaps its profits, we deal with the destruction of our communities and ecosystem.
5. Enbridge says it will work with landowners to remove sections of the current Line 3: Enbridge has utterly abandoned the current Line 3. Proposed Line 3 is not a replacement–it is an entirely new project. Far from being safe, the corroded pipeline contaminates the groundwater and soil with PCB lubricant, treatment chemicals and consistent spills. Enbridge has publicly stated that there are no plans to completely remove the current Line 3, despite loud dissent from landowners.
6. Enbridge says they have respected due processes: In November 2017, it was exposed that Enbridge had hundreds of illegal pipe on treaty territory.
7. Enbridge says Line 3 brings investment and jobs to Minnesota: bank after bank is divesting from fossil fuels. In the past 6 months, US Bank pulled a $1.3 billion line of credit to Enbridge, and BNP Paribas pulled out $1.24 billion in corporate lending to Enbridge. Instead of giving us the tools to build a more economically and ecologically sustainable future, Enbridge is exploiting us for a dying industry.