Things are moving fast in Minnesota as Enbridge is now digging under the headwaters of the Mississippi River. Enbridge has already had a significant incident:
Tania Aubid, Winona LaDuke, Shanai Matteson and other water protectors arrived around 7 a.m. this morning at the site where Enbridge is drilling a tunnel for Line 3 under the Willow River in Aitkin County. The water protectors found what appeared to be a “frac-out,” the release of pipeline drilling mud into the river.
Note that drilling mud is not actually mud. While it sounds like dirt being removed during drilling, it’s actually a chemical soup designed to make drilling easier. Honor the Earth posted video of the incident on and it’s not pretty.
The spill reportedly started some time before Tuesday, July 6th, although nobody can say for sure when the leak actually began. While nobody from Enbridge or the state government was present to oversee damage from the incident, authorities did take the time to arrest six Water Protectors. According to StopLine3.org, they are still being held in jail, two days later.
What would happen if Line 3 had a pipeline rupture like we saw in the Gulf of Mexico this week? Minnesota’s state government and the police of Hubbard County obviously don’t care.
In other news, Water Protectors in Cass County, Minnesota established a major tree sit-in on July 7th, which was broadcast live by Unicorn Riot:
So far, hundreds of Water Protectors have been arrested trying to halt the illegal construction of Line 3, which violates federal treaties with the Anishinaabe and Lakota nations. Until construction on the pipeline stops, resistance from Water Protectors is going to continue, as will their need for our support—not only because they’re the true front line of the struggle against climate change in North America, but because it’s the right thing to do.
As the climate crisis continues to worsen—which it will, even if we stopped all carbon emissions tomorrow—it looks like our governments’ response to increasing environmental chaos is going to be increasing violence against people trying to do what they won’t. It may not be long until what we’re seeing in Minnesota goes national. Here in Portland, we know how things are probably going to go.