Corrections: An earlier version of this post misidentified Winona LaDuke’s attorney. She is being represented by Frank Bibeau and Claire Glenn. It also failed to list all of the open cases against LaDuke, which have been added.
One of the hallmarks of this country’s democratic experiment is our aspiration for an impartial justice system, so it’s inexplicable how Minnesota leaders deployed law enforcement against water protectors who opposed the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline in the manner that they did.
The problem started with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), but other leaders remained silent.
The PUC approved a scheme allowing Enbridge — a multi-billion dollar, multi-national Canadian company — to fund state and local law enforcement agencies to monitor and police water protectors who opposed the pipeline.
The PUC created a Public Safety Escrow Account. Enbridge funded it. Law enforcement agencies submitted bills for their Line 3-related expenses.
It created bias in the justice system, giving law enforcement financial incentives to focus on, and go after, water protectors.
The scheme finally is getting challenged in court.Continue reading