Report Back from the Treaty People Gathering

Written the morning of June 8th.

An incredible action. When we headed back to the blockade site this morning, there were still 4 people locked to the boat blocking the road into the site. A few people across the road stayed overnight to provide some support. Activists with a lot of direct action experience and skills, and those with little or none, all worked together beautifully.

Over 100 water protectors were arrested and detained, or cited and released.

The focus on treaty rights was powerful. I felt fortunate to be welcomed as an accomplice at this action and in this fight to Stop Line 3. [For more on treaty rights in Minnesota, please see this account from an earlier gathering at the headwaters of the Mississippi River. — Ed.]

The chanting and singing led by several different people were really energizing. One young man named Kevin was especially energizing and moving. This reminded me how important a mix of chanting and singing is for actions.

There were people of all ages coming from all over. [Note: the Pacific Northwest including Portland sent a sizeable contingent to Treaty People Gathering, some like Lynn traveling by bus organized by 350Seattle. — Ed.]

The lands near the site were beautiful, magical places, forest, ponds, wetlands, beaver and so much life. The construction site at the pumping station was a dead zone. Heart-wrenching. But the shit done to the site using Enbridge’s supplies was very satisfying and impressive. Building roadblocks, screwing with equipment, and just generally scrambling stuff. Lots of folks were supporting the many brave dedicated people locked into the equipment.

The Border Patrol helicopter blasting us with dust, gravel, and sandstorms was just awful, but it actually energized people with anger and disgust. Enbridge and the police they pay for are the trespassers on Indigenous lands.

The Indigenous speakers were powerful.

About Lynn Spitaleri Handlin
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