Scrappy environmental and racial justice advocates rely on social media to get the word out about their work. Such was the case with water protectors organizing against the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline.
At the same time, law enforcement increasingly tracks the social media accounts of individuals and organizations doing advocacy work. “This poses risks to privacy and free expression, increases disproportionate surveillance of communities of color, and can lead to arrests of people on the basis of misinterpreted posts and associations,” the Brennan Center for Justice said.
The Rally for the Rivers event held in the winter of 2021 is a Minnesota case study in law enforcement’s social media tracking. It’s also a jumping off point to look at the disparate treatment of water protectors opposed to Line 3 now facing criminal charges compared to the state’s weak response to Enbridge’s environmental damage.Continue reading