Simone Senogles, Mary Breen, Priya Dalal-Whelan, and Josh Phenow were four of the 22 people arrested Monday in Aitkin County for civil disobedience against the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline.
The action happened where Enbridge plans to bore a tunnel under the Mississippi River for the pipeline. A lot of people think boring a tunnel under the Mississippi River is a really bad idea. The protest was on public land where Enbridge holds an easement. The site had “No Trespassing” signs posted.
Most water protectors received misdemeanor charges for trespass and unlawful assembly, seemingly minor offenses. Nonetheless, they spent the night in jail worrying about COVID exposure for themselves and their friends.
Senogles and Breen were among nine arrestees transported in a crowded van. The driver didn’t wear a mask, Breen said. The women were held in an overcrowded cell, with four sleeping on the floor. Not all jailers wore masks or wore them properly.
Senogles, a member of the Red Lake Nation and staff for the Indigenous Environmental Network, attended the action to live stream it and provide media support. She hadn’t planned on participating in the action. In the moment, she found herself wanting “to hold the line.”
“I live on the Mississippi River,” she said. “I couldn’t sit in my home, and look out on the beautiful river, if I wasn’t willing to engage in civil resistance to protect it.”
“We don’t need the oil,” she said. “It’s not serving the common good.”Continue reading