George Floyd Memorial, May 25, Northern Metal Community Intervention May 18, and upcoming Stop Line 3 events

In this post:

  • Rise & Remember George Floyd Global Memorial Celebration, May 25
  • Northern Metal Community Intervention, May 18
  • Treaty People Gathering June, 5-8
  • Water, Resistance, and Healing In These Bodies – #StopLine3, May 16 in Backus and online

Rise & Remember George Floyd Global Memorial Celebration, May 25

George Floyd Square.

The George Floyd Global Memorial and the community at George Floyd Square are holding an in-person celebration at 38th and Chicago in Minneapolis, on May 25, from 1-9 p.m., to commemorate the 1st Anniversary of the death of George Floyd and the community of dedicated caretakers that emerged in the wake of the tragedy. The event centers the family and friends of George Perry Floyd, families impacted by injustice or loss, and the people who’ve preserved the memorial for 12 months.

Facebook event to share.

Northern Metal Community Intervention, May 18

Northern Metal Recycling’s former Minneapolis site still has large piles of scrap metal and debris.

Northern Metal Recycling was forced out of North Minneapolis in September, 2019 and relocated Becker, yet the company still has a negative presence in the city. The company still stores fluff and other combustible materials at the site, as evidenced by an April 21 fire.

(“Fluff” is a term for car shredder residue. It consists “of glass, fiber, rubber, automobile liquids, plastics and dirt.”

Community residents have been trying to get regulatory agencies hold Northern Metal accountable for more than a decade. They are planning a rally on Tuesday, May 18 at 11 a.m. at the former Northern Metal site, 2800 Pacific Ave, to bring more visibility to this issue and raise up a set of demands to state and local leaders.

The Facebook Event Page said Northern Metal is still making people sick. “While it may not be a gunshot, it is a state accepted form of violence on the community, just longer term and more insidious,” it said.

Organizers note that Northern Metal is not a local. Its parent company, EMR, has U.S. headquarters in Camden, NJ and global headquarters in England.

Organizers’ demands are:

  1. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman must file criminal charges against Northern Metal immediately.
  2. City agencies and elected officials must begin applying nuisance laws and file an eviction notice on Northern Metal.
  3. The City Fire Department must stop Northern Metal operations. Protocols for accountability for onsite fire hazards must be made public.
  4. Minneapolis and state health departments must take a stand on these fires and environmental health hazards. They need to do a cumulative health effects analysis and shut down Northern Metal.
  5. All City Council and Mayoral Candidates for the upcoming November election must sign a declaration (currently being drafted) of their support to hold accountable Northern Metal and other pollution sources creating environmental health problems for families.

Community Members for Environmental Justice is trying to raise money for its work. (It’s not a non-profit.) Contact Roxxanne O’Brien at mindstates22@yahoo.com to make a donation.

For more background on Northern Metal’s history, see Healing Minnesota’s recent three-part series on state regulators’ failure to monitor and address Northern Metal’s pollution problems: Part I, Part II and Part III.

Treaty People Gathering: Rise, Protect, Stop Line 3: June 5-8

The movement to stop the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline has persisted and grown over the years and as the weather warms and the epidemic abates we are coming together for a mass mobilization in northern Minnesota, June 5-8, (Saturday-Tuesday). We need all hands on deck.

More details here.

Despite ongoing legal appeals to Line 3 permits, construction on the pipeline is already over halfway done, with Enbridge expecting it to be fully operational by the end of the year. The time to take action is now.

This is going to be big. We will be gathering in northern Minnesota to honor treaties and take action at the scale of the crisis. All of us — Native and non-Native — are treaty people, and we know it’s on us all to stand up for Indigenous rights, climate justice, and our pristine waters together. Make sure to RSVP to the Facebook event and fill out the interest form on the event website to get updates.

This is our moment to stand in solidarity with our Indigenous relatives, stand up for environmental justice, and stop Line 3!

Water, Resistance, and Healing In These Bodies – #StopLine3, May 16 in Backus and online

The Anishinaabe Grandmothers teach us that water is the first medicine – that Water Is Life. Water is flowing in these bodies of ours – through the land, the plants and animals – carrying with it Enough. Carrying love.

The water continues to flow, even as the Canadian oil corporation, Enbridge, destroys wetlands, burns forest, and threatens the lakes and rivers, with its tar sands oil pipeline. And the water continues to flow in the bodies of those of us resisting this pipeline and violence everywhere.

So, let’s gather and testify to the healing flow of water in these bodies, even amidst the continued destruction and neglect. Meet Sunday, May 16, at 10 a.m. We’ll gather together in person in Backus, MN and on-line from whatever watershed you tune in from, and we’ll hear stories from Water Protectors – how they, in this work, are experiencing healing in their bodies and communities.

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