Thousands of activists assembled Monday and dozens were arrested in Northern Minnesota for an event dubbed the “Treaty People’s Gathering” against further construction of the Line 3 Pipeline.
Line 3 is a tar sands oil pipeline owned by the Canadian Corporation Enbridge that has been transporting oil into the United States since the 1960’s.
In late 2020, construction on a new pipeline segment expected to increase the line’s efficiency began, against the concerns of indigenous people who say it violates treat rights, and environmental activists.
On Monday, activists took over a construction site, halting production for the day as they prepared to occupy indefinitely.
Officers in riot gear from several local agencies as well as Minnesota State Police arrived just before 5pm.
One arrestee identified himself as a medic, but was arrested anyway. The same happened to a self-identified journalist who lacked a press credential.
Police ultimately forced the press to leave when the only protesters were physically attached to the equipment or too high to reach.
Over a half hour drive away, activists celebrated the takeover as a victory for managing to halt construction, even if only temporarily.
Thousands of activists – including actress Jane Fonda – had marched to a point in the construction plan where the new Line 3 is expected to travel under the Mississippi River.
Many of the activists marched across a wet marsh to a platform built by Enbridge ahead of the construction.
While this area is claimed as property of Enbridge, a Sheriff’s Deputy reportedly relayed to organizers that if they remained peaceful, the group would not be arrested for trespassing.
The activism Monday took several shapes, from physical, to spiritual.
Construction may have resumed, but some plan to occupy the platform at the Mississippi River indefinitely, and the group reports that they intend to continue their activism throughout the summer.
The Keystone XL Crude Oil Pipeline was cancelled Wednesday after Canadian officials failed to convince President to restore their permit after revoking it following years of activism across three administrations.
President Biden has not signalled he will cancel Line 3.