Updates on the Chauvin trial, Line 3

Image shown on the livestream while court is in recess.

Jury selection for Derek Chauvin’s murder trial got delayed at least a day, as procedural issues were sent to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Jury selection could start as early as tomorrow.

Here’s the link to watch a livestream of court proceedings.

Today, the court proceedings included several long recess periods. During those down times, the livestream focused on the image of the Minnesota State Seal in the courtroom.

It seemed like a poor choice.

The backdrop of Chauvin’s trial is racial injustice: The murder of George Floyd, another in a string of black man killed by police. The State Seal is a symbol of racial injustice, too. It shows a Native American man on horseback riding west, displaced from his ancestral lands by newly arriving white settlers. To be blunt, it’s an image of Manifest Destiny and white supremacy which state leaders have failed to change.

They should pick a different image to feature during recess.

The New York Times posted the 14-page questionnaire potential jurors will have to answer as part of the jury selection process. They are clustered by group:

  • Knowledge of the case (e.g. have you ever watched a video of George Floyd’s death on the news or on the Internet?)
  • Media habits (e.g. What is your primary source of news?)
  • Police contacts (e.g. Have you, or someone close to you, ever helped support or advocated in favor or against police reform? If “Yes” please explain.
  • Personal background
  • Opinions regarding the justice system (e.g. Do you believe that the jury system in this country is fair? Why or why not?)
  • Trial length and ability to serve.

70 cited at march commemorating the largest inland oil spill in U.S. history

Law enforcement seems to be cracking down harder on water protectors these days. There are times when law enforcement will arrive on the scene of an action and issue an order to disperse. Those who heed the warning don’t get cited or arrested.

That wasn’t the case near Grand Rapids, Minn., Wednesday. Water protectors gathered there and marched to commemorate the 30th anniversary of largest inland oil spill in U.S. history — and to continue to show opposition to the new Enbridge Line 3.

Line 3 opponents have argued repeatedly that all pipelines eventually leak. On March 3, 1991, the current Enbridge Line 3 burst and spilled 1.7 million gallons of tar sands crude oil onto the Prairie River, a Mississippi River tributary. The damage could have been worse, as frozen conditions helped contain the spill.

On Wednesday, the marchers blocked U.S. highway 2, according to a story in Indian Country Today. The event was well publicized and law enforcement met marchers quickly. There was no dispersal order grace period. Law enforcement took two people into custody and cited approximately 70 others.

Efforts to stop Line 3 continue to get national attention. If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s an 8-minute piece recently aired on PBS Newshour.

Next Watch the Line monitor training Thursday!

The next Watch the Line monitor training is set for Thursday, 6-8 p.m. by Zoom. Sign-up link below.

Watch the Line is a coalition of organizations and individuals opposed to the Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline We train volunteers to lawfully monitor Line 3 construction from public right of ways and submit photo and written reports.

State regulators required Enbrdidge to fund “Independent Environmental Monitors.” They are supposed to report to state regulatory agencies. Problem is, Enbridge got to select and train these “Independent” monitors.

Watch the Line believes there is a need for extra sets of eyes on construction.

The information monitors collect is posted on a public website, open to anyone who is interested in this work. We hold monitor trainings every two weeks. Check out our website for the next trainings: https://watchthelinemn.org/

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