Friday’s bomb scare in Carlton County will be used by some to make water protectors seem dangerous, shifting attention away from real dangers posed by the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline.
Water protectors were demonstrating against Line 3 in Carlton County Friday. As the event was happening, the county received a 9-1-1 call reporting a “suspicious device,” the Sheriff’s Office said. A news story called it “a suspicious package thrown into a pipeline construction area.”
The county’s response was quick and perhaps excessive. It called in the bomb squad. Law enforcement evacuated 40 nearby residences within a half-mile radius of the device. Carlton County Sheriff Kelly Lake called in regional and federal law enforcement. She’s calling for maximum charges and penalties.
There was no bomb. Still, placing a “replica device” that causes fear and panic is a crime.
The incident occurred near Camp Migizi, an Indigenous-led frontline resistance camp, but the protests that day were several miles away from where the incident occurred.
There’s been no information released that ties the incident to Camp Migizi or the protest. There have been no arrests. Yet without evidence, Enbridge and others are blaming water protectors.
This morning, one person was arrested at Enbridge’s headquarters in Superior, Wisc., an action timed to protest Enbridge’s annual shareholder meeting in Calgary where the company no doubt was praising its proposed new Line 3 project. The water protector was suspended from a tripod and hung there until the local Fire Department came and brought him down.
It was part of an ongoing protest against the Line 3 tar sands crude oil pipeline. It would cross 340 miles of northern Minnesota, ultimately connecting to a terminal in Superior. Line 3 would cross more than 200 Minnesota water bodies (including the Mississippi headwaters), threaten treaty rights and create as much climate damage as approving 50 new coal-fired energy plants.
Today’s action offers a small metaphor for how distorted the public thinking has become on these issues. Somehow Anthony Graham (Chumash), the person suspended from the tripod, was seen as the threat requiring a heavy police response instead of the much more dangerous pipeline.
“I stand in solidarity with my relatives up north and across Turtle Island,” Graham said in a media release from the Ginew Collective. “This is for the future. We have to be brave and fight. The oil industry is trying to grow when we know climate change is killing us. No more tar sands.”
Here’s an update on today’s actions and reflections on what is and is not a threat. Continue reading →
Curtiss DeYoung, CEO of the Minnesota Council of Churches, stood before a crowd of hundreds of people Monday afternoon at Leif Erickson Park to state the shared belief of many religious leaders that the state should reject the Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline on moral grounds.
“Oftentimes the faith community historically has been on the wrong side, particularly as it relates to indigenous communities and sovereign nations who we are in relationship with.” DeYoung said. “Today we decided to be on the right side.”
The event, held just west of the state Capitol, included civil rights songs, a Jewish cantor, a brass band, chants, and a Buddhist moment of silence. It included indigenous prayer and truth-telling. It included a number of brief speeches from religious leaders from different traditions. But the event’s main goal was to Stop Line 3. To that end, the group delivered an interfaith letter opposing Line 3 to both Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Some 540 faith leaders signed.