PARK RAPIDS, Minn. -- Eight self-described “water protectors,” locked to each other with barrels of concrete and a piano, blockaded an Enbridge fueling station Thursday morning.
They were joined by dozens of additional protesters at the worksite.
According to a news release, “As piano music floated through the early morning light, Water Protectors sang and uplifted the Native-led struggle to protect Anishinaabe territory, sacred wild rice and stand with Mother Earth. Line 3 poses a 10 percent expansion of tar sands production; tar sands is the dirtiest fossil fuel on earth.”
The protest was held near the proposed crossing by Line 3 through the Shell River in Hubbard County. Last weekend, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar visited the Mississippi headwaters and the Giniw Collective encampment, one of several along the route.
Many of the protestors traveled from the northeast “to act in solidarity with Anishinaabe peoples here in Minnesota,” the release said.
Tyler Schaeffer said, “I’m profoundly concerned about the future of life on our planet and my deepest desire is for future generations to grow up safe in a world that hasn’t been wrecked by greed and shortsightedness – where water is clean to drink, where we’ve come back to balance and honor the earth as sacred. It’s time we follow the lead and wisdom of indigenous peoples with humility and courage.”
Reina Palm, 24, a teacher from mid-coast Maine, said, “I am here first and foremost to follow indigenous leadership. … I remember being four years old and learning about climate change and the destruction of land and peoples and being deeply frightened. It is only becoming more urgent and necessary to act. Line 3 travels through so many wild lands, waters, and indigenous homes. It draws a clear picture of destruction in its path. I know it is easy to feel vulnerable, scared, tired, and discouraged. But together we can, with the power of community and love, stop line 3.”
Noah McKenna, a landscaper from Mass., said, “When government fails to honor treaties and ensure a just transition, we must act directly. I am honored to put my body on the line in solidarity with indigenous resistance to protect Mother Earth and all of our futures.”
Jay O’har, a Quaker from Portland, Maine, said, “As a person of faith, I am moved to action by a call from indigenous leadership to protect the water and defend treaty rights from a government corporate power that continues to perpetuate the false doctrine of discovery and supremacy. For me this is a call to shared liberation to stop Line 3 and build a new relationship to the earth and among all people.”
Ethan Hughes, a former marine biologist and educator, said, “I have two daughters and I care about all children’s future. I will do anything I can to protect life, while following BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) leadership.”
Briana Halliwell, a Quaker from New England Yearly Meeting, said, “I travelled from Maine to stand in solidarity with the indigenous peoples of northern Minnesota in resistance to the Line 3, pipeline expansion that cuts through hundreds of miles of Anishinaabe treaty territory. I am here to life up the voices of the people, animals, landscapes, and watersheds whose voices have historically been unrecognized, erased or not understood by the patriarchal dominant culture of separation and white supremacy that founded this country and continues to destroy, not honor or create life.”
Dan Truesdale of southwest Michigan said, “I am here to stand in solidarity with indigenous leadership to honor the earth. We need climate justice and racial justice now, and together we will stop Line 3.”
Shawn Gregory, a community worker from southeast Texas, said, “I just care so much about the health of people who I love, especially my nephew and future generations. I don’t want to live with regret, so I have to act in whatever way I know how to stop Line 3 and follow the leadership of indigenous communities.”