Twin Cities Democratic Socialists Deepen Commitment to Indigenous-led Efforts to Stop Tar Sands Pipeline

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Hey there! Our September 16 newsletter was published with the wrong link! If you are looking for the Fight For 15 article, click here: The Fight For 15 At MSP Airport

This month, chapter members joined activists from around the world at a movement camp and a direct action targeting the pipeline operator Enbridge in northern Minnesota and their Line 3 project.

This summer, Enbridge Inc. has been tied up in a bureaucratic morass created in part by Minnesota pipeline resisters working the “inside game.” State agency permitting timelines have been thrown into disarray by an appeals court rejection of the Line 3 project’s environmental impact statement, along with other hurdles put in the way. The case is now before the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Still, Enbridge insists on treating its pipeline expansion project, which would violate Native Sovereignty, devastate their sacred water and food resources, and contribute to irreversible climate catastrophe, as a foregone conclusion. “Pre-construction” continues along the proposed route, and it is clear they won’t stop unless they are forced.

That is why various indigenous-led collectives representing many nations and bands across the region have been making the call that now is the time to resist this further encroachment on both indigenous and human rights. As one water protector from the Ginew (Golden Eagle) Collective has put it: “We know that once they start putting pipe in the ground, we’re dead.”

There has been an escalating series of action camps and direct actions along the pipeline route building up over the past several months. The most recent, which was the first to have been advertised publicly, was attended by at least nine (by author’s count) Twin Cities DSA members, who availed themselves of a full weekend of workshops and trainings followed by an opportunity to put new skills into practice and physically shut down business as usual at the company for a day.

There will be further opportunities for chapter members to deepen their engagement with this crucial and exciting movement, including large-scale demonstrations along the route in the next two months. As the movement grows, there will also be a growing need for support with basic infrastructural tasks like camp buildouts, transportation coordination, scouting, media, and fundraising, as well as urban-based direct actions to pressure pipeline promotors who are out of reach for most indigenous water protectors up north.

Join our chapter’s Ecosocialism Branch on September 15th to find out more and get involved! For added motivation, here is the Line 3 Resistance recap of this month’s action — with a fun shareable video they made to boot:

On Monday we successfully shut down Enbridge’s offices in Bemidji, MN for the entire day! Fifty water protectors blockaded the offices, with six brave people risking arrest by locking themselves to the office gates. Our message is clear: we will stop Line 3.

We took direct action because Line 3 threatens wild rice lakes, Indigenous treaty rights, and a livable climate for us all.

While the state permit and legal appeals processes are still pending, Enbridge has begun “pre-construction” activities to build Line 3. This includes clear-cutting trees, building access roads, stockpiling pipes, and building power lines to proposed pump stations. Pre-construction is construction, and we need to stop it now.

Wild rice season is nearing, in which Anishinaabe people will take to their canoes to harvest the sacred food that is at the heart of Anishinaabe culture. Enbridge plans to send tar sands through dozens of wild rice watersheds, irrevocably impacting their growth and survival.

Our action got widespread media coverage, appearing in the local Bemidji Pioneer as well as in nationally syndicated press including the New York Times and many other outlets.

The movement to stop Line 3 grows stronger every day. We won’t stop until we stop Line 3 and tar sands expansion.

Here’s the video!

– Ed S.

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