Police reform, police abolition, and barriers to police accountability: An overview

There’s an ongoing gathering at the flower-strewn site where George Floyd was killed.

A veto-proof majority of the Minneapolis City Council has committed to dismantle and defund the Minneapolis Police Department, according to stories in MPR, the Star Tribune, CNN and other news outlets.

In New York City, Mayor Bill DeBlasio is proposing to shift some police funding to social services, with the idea that such funding will do more to promote public safety than funding the tradition police force. Congressional Democrats have proposed the Justice in Policing Act of 2020 which “would ban chokeholds, establish a national database to track police misconduct and prohibit certain no-knock warrants, among other initiatives,” the Washington Post reports.

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Walz says he prioritizes safety of most vulnerable communities during pandemic, but would he intervene to stop Line 3?

Gov. Tim Walz

Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan issued a “Coronavirus Response and Preparation” update Friday that said: “As COVID-19 has exacerbated racial, economic, and educational inequities, the Walz-Flanagan Administration has prioritized the safety of our most vulnerable workers, families, and communities.”

Al Monaco, president and CEO of Enbridge, has said he believes construction on Line 3 could start this summer. Yet the pandemic isn’t going to be over by the summer. An influx of workers risks bringing more coronavirus cases to northern Minnesota. Line 3 runs near the White Earth and Red Lake reservations and through the Fond du Lac Reservation. Those communities have more than their share of health problems and their members would be more vulnerable to the virus.

In the worst-case scenario where Enbridge gets all the state permits it needs, the Walz administration needs to intervene to stop construction. With the current oil glut, there’s no public urgency for Line 3 construction to move forward.

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Opposition to Enbridge Line 5 in Wisconsin echoes Minnesota’s Line 3 woes

Enbridge’s aging Line 5 tar sands crude oil pipeline runs through the Bad River Band of Ojibwe reservation in Wisconsin. The Band says Enbridge’s lease expired years ago and it wants the pipeline gone. Enbridge looked at rerouting Line 5 off reservation lands and — surprise — the locals in the city of Mellen didn’t want a pipeline, either. Enbridge took a two-pronged approach; it sued the Bad River Band to keep the old Line 5 in place while continuing to pursue a route through Mellen.

Time for a Line 5 update. Continue reading

Sign Petition to Attorney General Keith Ellison to Stop Line 3!

MN350 has launched a petition to urge Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison to speak out against the Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline and to use his office to intervene against this dangerous and unnecessary project.

Add your name: We need AG Ellison to act on Line 3.

At the 2015 Tar Sands Resistance March, then-Congressman Keith Ellison took a stand against crude oil pipelines. (You can watch his full speech here.) He said he would stand with his Native brothers and sisters. He spoke against a fossil fuel industry that put profits over real human consequences. We need him to speak up against Line 3, now that he’s our Attorney General and in a position to affect change.

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Minnesota needs state leaders to get off the fence and show courage and leadership to stop Line 3

Minnesota’s top political leaders — Gov. Tim Walz, Attorney General Keith Ellison, and U.S. senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith — have failed to take a stand and show leadership opposing the proposed Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline, a dangerous and unnecessary project.

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