Hundreds of water protectors are currently facing criminal charges in Minnesota for standing in defense of the water, the climate, and the treaty rights of the Anishinaabeg people. These individuals put their bodies on the line to stop Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline, a massive tar sands project that threatens the state’s lakes, rivers, aquifers and wild rice beds.
Plans to flush out salt caverns for gas storage hit a wall of Mi’kmaq grandmothers Cheryl Maloney’s eyes glossed over with tears as she stood near the bank of the Stewiacke River in the middle of Nova Scotia. The news was finally sinking in.
Freda Huson has been praying. The Wet’suwet’en matriarch and wing chief of the Unist’ot’en Dark House Clan left her home on the Witset First Nation more than a decade ago to return to her yintah, the land of her ancestors, in order to protect it from encroaching industry.
For the past few years, violent police raids against Indigenous populations – like the Wet’suwet’en in co-called British Columbia, the Standing Rock Nation in the Dakotas, and the Anishinaabe People in Minnesota – have become standard procedure. Law enforcement is always there to protect prospective pipeline profits for the fossil fuel industry.
Coastal GasLink could face million-dollar fines for repeated environmental infractions | The Narwhal
Jerry cans of gas in an overflowing pool of water. Oil barrels lying on the ground. A dumpster filled to the brim, its lid propped open and bags of garbage left out in bear country. Murky water flowing into wetlands, lakes, streams and rivers.
The project would have featured a natural gas pipeline crossing 229 miles in four southwestern Oregon counties to the Jordan Cove liquefaction plant in Coos Bay. From there, the gas would have been loaded onto ships for export to Asian markets.
Around the world: First Nations people exposed to cancer-causing chemicals in Canada, Indigenous protests against a nickel mine and an oil pipeline, and Indigenous activists denounce a COP26 Glasgow deal as Canada fails to meet a UN deadline.
CONTENT WARNING: POLICE VIOLENCE AGAINST INDIGENOUS WOMEN
The RCMP violently raided unceded Gidimt’en territory on November 19th, 2021, removing Indigenous women from their land at gunpoint on behalf of TC Energy’s proposed Coastal GasLink pipeline.
The raid involved about 50 police, including 20 tactical officers in green military fatigues, with assault weapons and attack dogs who surrounded the camp. During the raid, the RCMP breached two structures – Skïy ze’ Cabin, a cabin built on the proposed drill pad site, and a nearby tiny home. RCMP cut the camp’s satellite internet and radio antenna cords.
The police attempted to enter the tiny house, but Cas Yikh supporting chief Sleydo’ demanded to see a warrant. Police then broke down the door with an axe and a chainsaw belonging to the land defenders, and arrested everyone inside, including Sleydo’. Police also entered Skïy ze’ cabin with a chainsaw and arrested everyone there, including Dinï ze’ Woos’ daughter, Jocey.
For 56 days, Gidimt’en land defenders (under the direction of Dinï ze’ Woos) re-occupied their ancestral Cas Yikh territory, blocking the Coastal Gaslink pipeline from drilling beneath Wet’suwet’en headwaters. The land reclamation known as Coyote Camp was established to protect the sacred Wedzin Kwa. Over the course of November 18th-19th, 32 people were arrested, including 3 journalists and 3 Legal Observers. All land defenders have now been released from prison, with a February 14th, 2022 court date.
Tokata and Chase Ironeyes, appeared on Christiane Amanpour’s show, broadcast on both PBS and CNN, to talk about COP26, the anti-pipeline stands, and the future of Indigenous and climate justice.
Tokata’s friend, Greta Thunberg, put it in Glasgow, “It is not a secret that COP26 is a failure. It should be obvious that we cannot solve the crisis with the same methods that got us into it in the first place.”
U.S. President Joe Biden wants more oil to provide relief at the pumps, while for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the oilpatch is one of Canada’s top exports. Both leaders are attempting to balance those economic realities with the need to reduce emissions.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered fossil fuel company Enbridge to shut down its dangerous Line 5 oil pipeline, which runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac in the Great Lakes, by May 12. Whitmer issued the order after she terminated the pipeline’s 1953 easement.
Now that Enbridge is operating the Line 5 pipeline illegally, what happens next?
A great Report from Demeocracy Now, Amy Goodman and Winona LaDuke
“Not Having It”: Winona LaDuke on Mass Protest by Water Protectors to Halt Line 3 Pipeline in Minnesota
In the largest act of civil disobedience to date to halt the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline, more than 100 water protectors led by Indigenous women have been arrested in Minnesota.
Environmental protesters and Native American tribes have joined together to try to block construction efforts that would expand and repair a controversial pipeline called Line 3, which would carry hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil through tribal lands and fragile watersheds in northern Minnesota.