The Anishinaabe have been defending their treaty-protected land and water against Line 3 for 7 years now. Students for a Democratic Society condemns Line 3 as it violates indigenous sovereignty, threatens clean water supply, farming land, and the preservation of cultural sites. Enbridge is a multinational pipeline company that is responsible for the construction of Line 3, which happens to be the largest project in the company’s history despite the rapid decline of tar sands investments. Line 3 profits fill the pockets of greedy oil corporations and threaten indigenous livelihood. Students for a Democratic Society condemns this act of modern day colonialism and stands alongside those fighting to protect indigenous land.

Impact on water
The construction of Line 3, and its use if it is constructed, will be a constant threat to clean water in Minnesota. Line 3 is being built to move tar sands oil, and will cross 200 bodies of water. An oil spill from Line 3 is inevitable, as cites that Enbridge has had over 800 oil spills in 15 years. Giniw Collective, has reported on instagram that as of Aug. 16th, that Endbridge is responsible for 28 chemical spills in rivers and wetlands, and that during a drought Endbridge has continued to pump water for pipelines. Water pumped by Endbridge from lakes, rivers, and wetlands, is used for the purpose of fracking, which moves millions of gallons of water and puts it at risk for exposure to contamination.

Climate Change
We are in a climate emergency as we have begun to see the first impacts of climate change, we need to end the use of fossil fuels! Line 3 will be a direct contributor to climate change as tar sand oil exerts high amounts of carbon. It is estimated by, that the carbon output of the tar sand oil from Line 3 is equivalent to building 50 coal plants. The State of Minnesota calculated the “societal carbon cost” of Line 3 and it was an estimated $287 billion in climate change related damage over 30 years. The independent Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Line 3 states that the project would annually add 193 million tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere- exacerbating climate change and proving potentially catastrophic to the American population.

Treaty Rights
The Ojibwe tribal members hold property rights granted by treaties, the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court decisions. They are granted the rights to hunt, fish, gather medicinal plants, harvest/cultivate wild rice, and preserve sacred or culturally significant sites. The 1837 Pine Treaty grants the Ojibwe the right to hunt, fish and gather in territories spread across Minnesota to Wisconsin, and the 1855 Treaty with Chippewa establishes 9 reservation sites that have been impacted by the construction of Line 3. Line 3 is a threat to the natural and cultural resources that are an integral part to the survival and preservation of Ojibwe communities. Students for a Democratic society respects indigenous sovereignty and acknowledges the lack of consent among the impacted tribes along the Line 3 route.

There has been a clear and established connection between police forces at Line 3 and Enbridge corporate profits. Enbridge has helped fund The Northern Lights Task Force which is an interagency law enforcement coalition that was created to stifle direct action efforts and police indigenous communities along the Line 3 route. In May of 2020, Enbridge created the Public Safety Escrow Trust account that has allowed law enforcement agencies to draw funds for policing efforts related to the pipeline. In Cass County, the Sheriff’s office alone drew over $327,000 of funding for policing costs this year to stifle protestors. There have been an estimated 700 arrests in relation to protesting Line 3, with some peaceful protestors facing felony charges with bail charges of upwards of $10k-25k per person. Law enforcement agencies have used rubber bullets, mace, pepper balls and other violent efforts to stop protestors. Students for a Democratic Society sees these mass arrests and acts of police violence as directly related to corporate globalization and condemns the criminalization of indigenous communities and their water protectors.

Students for a Democratic Society urges that we show support for those protecting indigenous land, water, and treaty rights. Organizations like Honor The Earth, Giniw Collective, Red Lake Treaty Camp, MN350 have been at the forefront of this movement by leading protesting efforts, providing crucial resources, and helping communities on the ground reach their goals. SDS demands that President Joe Biden, and Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, take immediate action to cancel Enbridge’s permits and to bring an immediate end to Line 3’s construction, and to uphold the treaty rights of the Anishinaabe people!