The fight against the treaty-breaking, ecosystem-damaging and global-warming pipeline goes on.

The #StopLine3 protest at the Fargo, N.D., offices of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was small but determined and dedicated. I was proud to be part of it.

The protest was part of a National Day of Action against Line 3, a pipeline in Minnesota that breaks treaties between the U.S. government and the Anishinaabe Tribe. People and groups around the country participated in events yesterday, December 14, which was the anniversary of the first large-scale arrest of water protectors taking nonviolent direct action to Stop Line 3.

During construction of the pipeline, completed in September 2021, Enbridge reportedly violated multiple environmental laws and regulations, thereby damaging ecosystems crucial to the culture and wellbeing of the Anishinaabe and other Minnesotans. 

In a more expansive context, Line 3 will contribute to the devastation being wrought by global warming and climate change. The pipeline carries tar sands oil from Canada, some of the dirtiest oil on the planet, to U.S. refineries. 

StopLine3.org graphic

As the Natural Resources Defense Council notes, “Tar sands extraction emits up to three times more global warming pollution than does producing the same quantity of conventional crude. It also depletes and pollutes freshwater resources and creates giant ponds of toxic waste. Refining the sticky black substance produces piles of petroleum coke, a hazardous by-product.”

#StopLine3 protesters in Fargo on 12/14/21
#StopLine3 activists in front of the Fargo, N.D. offices of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Dec. 14, 2021

Every drop that is refined and burned for energy will release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, even as people around the globe struggle with the ever-worsening effects of the climate crisis.

“It’s not a matter of if the pipeline will spill, but when,” Honor the Earth says on its website. “Enbridge promises pipeline safety, but history suggests otherwise. (The company has) had over 800 spills in the last 15 years, including the largest inland oil spill in US history (1.2 million gallons) on the Kalamazoo River in 2010.”

Protest organizer Vanessa Clark told Inforum reporter C.S. Hagen, “There have been lots of calls to people in authority to do something about Line 3. It’s a shame that it’s completed, but we can still fight to cut it off.” (If the Inforum link is broken, you can read the story here .)

Tracey Wilkie, a #StopLine3 organizer, said in addition to supporting the National Day of Action, the Fargo protest was an continuation of Fargo Moorhead Water Protectors “Dance the Line Away” events held in front of Wells Fargo, where protestors demonstrate against the funding of the Line 3 by various financial institutions.

FM Water Protectors graphic

As noted in the Inforum story, police came to the scene, but the peaceful protesters were exercising our 1st Amendment rights and were not on private property or violating any laws, so they took no action. We went about our business of waving #StopLine3 signs at passing motorists.

While yesterday’s action was my first “Dance the Line Away” event, other protesters who were there have been making their voices heard almost weekly for months. Their work and dedication are honorable and continue to be crucial in the struggle against Line 3, i.e., “the black snake.”

For more information about Line 3 and how you can help, please visit the FM Water Protectors and StopLine3.org.

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