St. Paul, MN – Thousands converged on the Minnesota State Capitol grounds on August 25 to demand that construction on the contentious Line 3 tar sands pipeline be stopped. A massive police response greeted the water protectors who held ceremony, set tipis up and attempted to occupy the area after the permitted Treaty Not Tar Sands Rally. On Friday, August 27, after surrounding a tipi, hundreds of State Troopers made arrests, forced the tipi down during ceremony, and forced the removal of sacred fire.
On Wednesday, many attended the large permitted rally where ‘water walkers’ were greeted on the Capitol grounds that lasted until nightfall when hundreds of water protectors occupied the south lawn throughout Wednesday night. Numerous Indigenous elders, elected officials, organizers, activists, and water protectors spoke about their opposition to Line 3.
Unicorn Riot provided live coverage from the Capitol on August 25, starting about an hour after the water walkers arrived.
‘Water (nibi) walkers’ walked 256 miles from from the Mississippi Headwaters during the month of August and arrived at the Capitol on the 25th, culminating in a large gathering. The water walk was to call attention to the harms they say the pipeline will cause on the rivers, lakes, water, and way of life of the Anishinaabe people.
In total, 14 water walkers walked the full stretch from Northern Minnesota to the Capitol. Hundreds of water protectors joined the walkers at Martin Luther King Park in St. Paul before marching with them for the last leg of the walk to the Capitol. Many wore orange to represent missing and murdered Indigenous children across North America.
A press release from the Resist Line 3 Media Collective stated that “Line 3 violates treaties by threatening water, manoomin, and our climate, leading to the loss of usufructuary and cultural rights.” The release stated the demands of honoring the treaties and stopping Line 3.
“We demand action to honor our treaties and stop Line 3. President Biden must revoke Line 3’s Clean Water Act permits to conduct a federal Environmental Impact Statement, rescind Line 3’s Presidential Permit, or commit to other action to stop Line 3 from coming into service.“
An enormous police presence surrounded the Capitol along with concrete barriers and fencing around the building and the statues. State Troopers were joined by officers from the Anoka County Sheriffs Office, Washington County Mobile Field Force, DNR conservation officers, Capitol Security and more agencies.
The large law enforcement presence surveilling today’s #StopLine3 rally at the capitol includes deputies from the Anoka County Sheriff (St. Paul, where the MN capitol is, is not in Anoka County.) pic.twitter.com/KKHE9wHJol
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) August 25, 2021
After the sun went down, the crowd was led in ceremony to the south lawn of the Capitol, organizers said this move was made in order to prevent issues with the hundreds of heavily armed police.
On the south lawn, the water walkers lined up and were thanked by a circle of hundreds who walked by each one of them while the ‘nibi song’ was drummed and sung. Unicorn Riot was live when the crowd made the move to the south lawn.
As the night continued to get later, some tents that were set up on the south lawn were quickly ordered to be taken down and removed by State Troopers stating laws against tents and sleeping applied to the area.
As several different groups of water protectors, tribal members, and direct action camps converged on the Capitol, many brought their own actions and held space for different ceremonies.
Indigenous grandmothers from the White Earth Nation held ceremonial space on the Capitol lawn for the whole week of August 23 before closing out on Thursday at 11 a.m.
Over 15 tipis were set up on the Capitol grounds before the crowds gathered. Eventually, all of the tipis were taken down except for one as the permit for them expired at 10 p.m. on Thursday, August 26.
In the one that was left, there was an attempt to hold ceremonial space for 38 days, with each day representing each of the 38 Dakota men hanged near Mankato, Minnesota in 1862, in what was the largest mass execution in American history.
On Thursday night after the permit expired, hundreds of water protectors surrounded and defended the one remaining tipi after the permit expired and as a sacred fire was lit while ceremony was held inside. Negotiations with State Troopers led to the authorities allowing the ceremony to continue through the night as a hard storm rained on the area. Unicorn Riot was live for nearly an hour around midnight Thursday.
Late Friday morning, over a hundred State Troopers surrounded the tipi imploring everyone to leave and forced the ceremony to end. A handful of arrests were made on the tipi defenders.
More negotiations allowed for the tipi to be taken down and the sacred fire to be taken away before the troopers vacated that area of the Capitol grounds.
“We have been holding space in ceremony at the Minnesota State Capitol grounds in a stand to protest Line 3 and Enbridge activity on Indigenous soil. Police forcibly removed our lodge this morning in an attempt to halt ceremony. Though police used violence to oppress us, Migizi stood strong and officers left the scene.”
Jaike Spotted Wolf, Water protector with Camp Migizi
The next day, hundreds of water protectors unsuccessfully attempted to speak to Minnesota Governor Tim Walz at his residence in St. Paul. Over 60 were arrested by police.
During the days of actions in St. Paul, there were direct actions happening in Northern Minnesota that were stopping Line 3 construction. On August 26, for the first time in the Western Hemisphere, water protectors deployed an aerial structure made of bamboo and cables in front of the driveway of a Line 3 pump station.
This morning for the first time in the Western Hemisphere, water protectors deployed an aerial structure made of bamboo…
Despite plenty of opposition and constant direct actions halting construction, Enbridge’s new Line 3 pipeline in Minnesota is nearing completion.
Unicorn Riot’s Line 3 Oil Pipeline Coverage:
- Landing Page for all Unicorn Riot Line 3 Resistance Coverage
- Line 3 Opponent Sentenced to Thirty Days in Jail – August 19, 2021
- Enbridge Spills 10,000 Gallons of Line 3 Drilling Fluid – August 16, 2021
- Line 3 Fusion Center Data Declared Secret – August 4, 2021
- Judge Orders Sheriff to Halt Harassment of Line 3 Resistance Camp – July 24, 2021
- Water Protectors Occupy Work Sites and Lock Down to Line 3 Pipeline Construction – July 1, 2021
- Hubbard County Barricades Private Property, Imprisons Water Protectors – June 28, 2021
- Indigenous-Led Blockades Occupy Line 3 Pipeline Sites – June 10, 2021
- Rising Up to the Heat: ‘Treaty People Gathering’ Resists Line 3 Pipeline – June 7, 2021
- Activists Serve Denver Wells Fargo Eviction Notice – May 3, 2021
- Appealing Line 3 Pipeline: Supply and Demand at Root of Hearing – March 23, 2021
- Caravan Disrupts Line 3 Construction Routes, Carlton County Triggers Backlash – March 13, 2021
- Treaty Rights Asserted During Creation of White Earth Camp – March 13, 2021
- 70 Water Protectors Cited, 1 Arrested During Line 3 Commemorative Rally – March 4, 2021
- Bipod and Car Blockade Jam Up Line 3 Construction – March 2, 2021
- Lockdown to Keep it in the Ground: Line 3 Resistance – Feb. 15, 2021
- Court of Appeals Denies Motion to Stop Line 3 – Feb. 3, 2021
- Opposition to Line 3 Mounts – Jan. 29, 2021
- Resistance to Line 3: Direct Actions Aim to Stop Construction – Jan. 11, 2021
- Enbridge Line 3 Construction Blocked by Activists in Northern Minnesota – Nov. 18, 2020
- Protests After Permits for Line 3 Oil Pipeline Approved – Nov. 17, 2020
- ‘No KKKops, No Pipelines’ Banner Dropped in Minneapolis – Oct. 6, 2020
- “Divest from Climate Change!” Chase Bank Branch Protested on Opening Day – Nov. 7, 2019
- March to Protect The Sacred on Indigenous People’s Day 2019 – Oct. 14, 2019
- Hundreds Rally in Opposition to Line 3 Tar Sands Pipeline in Minnesota – Sept. 28, 2019
- Direct Action in Minnesota as Line 3 Pipeline Approval Reversed – June 3, 2019
- Multi-Agency Task Force Prepares “Rules of Engagement” For Line 3 Protests – Feb. 11, 2019
- ‘Valve Turners’ Shut Down Enbridge Oil Pipelines in Minnesota – Feb. 4, 2019
- Arts, Culture, and Hip Hop Resist Line 3 as Lawsuits Against Approval Continue – Dec. 29, 2018
- Minnesota Police Train at Military Base as Line 3 Pipeline Protests Escalate – Oct. 25, 2018
- Judge Accepts Water Protectors’ Climate Change Necessity Defense – July 18, 2018
- Line 3 Oil Pipeline Approved By Minnesota Regulators – June 28, 2018
- As Line 3 Oil Pipeline Decision Looms, Indigenous Resistance Increases – June 26, 2018
- Interfaith Community Delivers Letter of Line 3 Opposition to Minnesota Government Offices – June 4, 2018
- Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Requests Line 3 Schedule Change – Jan. 10, 2018
- Rally Against Line 3 Minnesota Pipe Yards – Dec. 11, 2017
- Resistance to Line 3 Pipeline Seeks to Save Sacred Manoomin – Oct. 9, 2017
- Direct Action Ramps Up Resistance to Line 3 – Sept. 18, 2017
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