More Protests, Arrests at Line 3 Sites; Water Protectors Shut Down Work at Willow River
There have been more protests recently surrounding the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline project, as well as more arrests.
Hubbard County Sheriff Corey Aukes says 28 protesters were arrested on July 1 at a pipeline right-of-way 10 miles north of Park Rapids. Aukes says protesters spray painted equipment, attacked an Enbridge officer, and attempted to run over one of their officers with a vehicle. In addition, 12 steel apparatuses called “sleeping dragons” were used to attach water protectors to and to immobilize pipeline equipment.
On July 2, deputies responded to an Enbridge pipe yard off County Road 3 in Lake Hattie Township where three protesters had chained themselves to the main gate of the yard which prevented workers inside the yard from leaving. Officers removed the three out-of-state residents from the gate, arrested them, and took them to the Hubbard County Jail.
On Tuesday, dozens of water protectors shut down work at a Line 3 construction site near Willow River, a part of the Mississippi watershed where Line 3 will cross. Aitkin County Sheriff Dan Guida says six people were arrested. The protesters locked themselves to equipment and built several blockades on access roads. Guida says the protesters filled the sleeping dragons used with feces, designed to hinder their extraction. Dozens more joined Winona LaDuke, the executive director of Honor the Earth, to stand in the Willow River in prayer.
Enbridge officials have stated repeatedly that the project has passed every test through six years of regulatory and permitting review. They say the existing Line 3 pipeline needs to be replaced and that the new pipeline will be made of thicker steel with more advanced coating to better protect the environment in the future.
The project at last report was on schedule to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year.