#StopLine3 — an arsonist is in the house!

If an arsonist was sneaking into your home with the gasoline and matches to burn it to the ground, how would you respond?

If the professional firefighters were nowhere to be found, and no one picked up on your 911 call, how would you respond?

If your family and neighbors passed buckets of water down the line to help you put out the fire, but the police came to arrest your family rather than the arsonist, how would you respond?

These images went through my mind as I sat near the sacred fire at Camp Manoomin on the White Earth Nation lands in northern Minnesota in mid-July. One of five indigenous camps leading Water Protectors in actions across northern Minnesota, Camp Manoomin was my introduction to the devastation occurring from the construction of Line 3.

Camp Manoomin – White Earth Nation in northern Minnesota — July 2021 (photo: Lora Lucero)

Enbridge LLC, the Canadian company building Line 3, is working night and day to finish this pipeline to carry tar sands oil from Alberta to Lake Superior and beyond.

With runaway climate chaos so clearly present everywhere this summer, can anyone deny that our planetary home is on fire? We’re being boiled alive. Climate scientists are admitting they might have badly misjudged how quickly and how badly our planet might be warming. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is warning us that we may have crossed some planetary thresholds (tipping points) which will be impossible to reverse and repair. And in northern Minnesota — the Line 3 pipeline will unlock CO2 emissions equivalent to 50 coal plants!

One of many Line 3 construction sites in northern Minnesota. (photo: Lora Lucero)
Enbridge pumping station next to the headwaters of the Mississippi River where the company is drilling to extend Line 3 below the river. (photo: Lora Lucero)

Line 3 is set to cross more than 200 waterways and cut through the 1854 and 1855 treaty territory where the Anishinaabe people retain the right to hunt, fish, gather medicines, and harvest wild rice. As Minnesota experiences a severe drought, Enbridge will be using nearly 5 billion gallons of water, 10 times more than it originally requested for construction.

Check out the interactive maps here.

Enbridge expects to complete Line 3 construction by the end of August, and commence testing and delivery by the end of the year. Although there’s an appeal pending in the Minnesota Supreme Court to stop Line 3, the decision will be too late. Action is needed today. How would you respond if the arsonist was sneaking into your home?

The Water Protectors are calling on everyone from everywhere to come to the frontlines to #StopLine3. Information about where to go, how to show up and make your voice heard can be found here.

The Tribal Council and Elders of the White Earth Nation are calling on Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan to meet with them, nation-to-nation, to respect the Treaties and the rights of the Indigenous peoples to hunt, fish, gather medicinal plants, harvest and cultivate wild rice, and preserve sacred or culturally significant sites.

Press Conference held in the Minnesota State Capitol on July 14. Good explanation of the treaties here. (photo: Lora Lucero)
Several hundred people attended the press conference. Where were Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan? (photo: Lora Lucero)

Water protectors are asking everyone to contact Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan here, contact President Biden here, contact Secretary of the Department of Interior Debra Haaland here, contact the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (agency responsible for permitting and monitoring the Line 3 construction) here. The message is simple. #StopLine3, Keep fossil fuels in the ground, Protect our water, Respect treaty rights.

In less than 12 hours, more than 100 people signed the petition to Secretary Haaland asking her to visit Line 3.

The Mississippi River looks very fragile when you stand at its headwaters in northern Minnesota. Drilling a pipeline below and near the river is the epitome of mankind’s arrogance and disrespect for Mother Earth. Please take action today, and visit the Mississippi headwaters if you can.

Mississippi River headwaters. (Photo: Lora Lucero)

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