Aug 19, 2019 | By: Malaak Khattab

Enbridge Office In Bemidji Closes After Protestors Chain Themselves to Gate

Six protestors calling themselves water protectors chained themselves to the gate at an Enbridge office in Bemidji in protest of the proposed Line 3 tar sands pipeline project.

According to a release from Ayse Gursoz, a Communications Manager for Climate and Energy Rainforest Action Network, two protestors chained their necks to the gate. Gursoz said Enbridge proposes to send nearly one million barrels of tar sand from Alberta through on its way to the shores of Lake Superior.

The release said Enbridge plans to send tar sands through dozens of wild rice watershed that will permanently impact its growth and survival.

As a response to the protests, Enbridge closed its office for the day. In a statement, Enbridge said:

“While Enbridge respects the rights of others to express their views on the energy we all use, criminal acts of unlawful protest like sabotage, vandalism, trespassing and occupation of pipeline facilities have the potential to cause serious harm—not only to the perpetrators, but also to nearby communities, the environment, local landowners and the employees who maintain these facilities. These acts also divert the attention of regional law enforcement from others who need their help and attention.”

According to Enbridge, another incident occurred over the weekend when a vehicle drove through a locked gate at a pipeline storage yard in Hubbard County.  Law enforcement were notified and they are currently investigating to see whether both incidents are related.

Enbridge wants to replace its existing Line 3 across Northern Minnesota because it’s deteriorating and runs at only half its capacity.

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