WAMM Still Saying ‘No To War’ – 40th Anniversary Celebration

Minneapolis, MN – Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) is still saying “No to war” as the group celebrates 40 years of organizing and fighting back.

On January 16, 2022, people gathered on the spot where WAMM held its first demonstration in 1982. They stuck signs in the snowbanks and fences, and their chants were heard for blocks around, “Money for jobs and education, not for war and occupation!” “Coups and sanctions cost lives, we don’t believe the media lies!”

Back in January 1982, more than 100 women attended the WAMM’s founding conference where they decided, “No meeting without action!” Kristin Dooley, WAMM’s director, described the first-ever march, “They braved the ungodly cold weather to walk along University Avenue near the University of Minnesota.”

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What Can A 1970s Farmers’ Uprising Against An Energy Transition Teach Us?

If the United States is to make a transition to clean energy, it will need to build many more transmission lines—the thick wires that deliver power from rural areas, where there’s enough open space for wind and solar, to cities where the most power is consumed.

But the process of building those lines is likely to be fraught with conflict and delays, because people in rural and suburban communities often don’t want to see wires and tall metal towers in their backyards.

Clean energy advocates say that power companies need to do more to understand what fuels public opposition and how best to engage with power line opponents. And one way to start, they say, might be to examine one of the most intense battles over an interstate power line in U.S. history, which unfolded across rural Minnesota for much of the 1970s.

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New Campaign To Drop Charges Against Line 3 Pipeline Water Protectors

Anishinaabe Akiing, Minnesota – Today, defendants arrested while opposing the construction of Enbridge’s Line 3 tar sands pipeline launched a campaign calling on Minnesota’s elected leadership to drop all criminal charges against over 700 water protectors. A Drop the Charges petition to MN Governor Tim Walz and Attorney General Keith Ellison has already garnered over 13,000 signatures. Organizers of the campaign describe the charges as unjust based on the brutal policing tactics that the Enbridge corporation directly funded, the violation of Anishinaabe treaty rights, and the project’s contribution to catastrophic climate change. 

Winona LaDuke, executive director of Honor the Earth, said about the campaign launch, “It’s entirely wrong that Enbridge—a foreign oil corporation— has committed egregious crimes against the water and people, yet it’s us who are being prosecuted.

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Over 50 Line 3 Pipeline Protesters Arrested Outside Governor’s Residence

St. Paul, MN – Over 50 water protectors protesting Line 3 were arrested, some violently, outside the Minnesota Governor’s Residence in St. Paul on Saturday, August 28, 2021. Those arrested were among hundreds who marched from the Capitol to Governor Walz’ mansion attempting to speak to him about their opposition to the Line 3 pipeline construction in northern Minnesota that’s nearing completion.

The march on August 28 was led by pipeline resistance camp Camp Migizi, who had three Indigenous water protectors lock down to the fencing of the mansion after unsuccessfully pursuing a meeting with the governor. Behind water protectors who formed a human blockade, Taysha Martineau, a prominent figure in the movement against Line 3, was one of those who locked down and was arrested.

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Prison Abolitionists Target Architectural Firm

St. Louis Park, MN – Red paint and posters reading “No new jails” were plastered on the door of architectural firm Klein McCarthy at the beginning of the work day on September 9. Responding to a nationwide call-out for #ShutEmDown2021 actions on the anniversary of the Attica Prison Rebellion, autonomous prison abolitionist groups took part in the action which also featured graffiti and a banner drop over Highway 100.

Unicorn Riot received a statement from anonymous participants in the action who said they targeted Klein McCarthy Architects because their contract “to design a new $28-million jail” in Winona. Headquartered in St. Louis Park, Klein McCarthy is one of the top “justice architecture and public facility design” firms in the Midwest.

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Water Protectors Shut Down Major US-Canadian Tar Sands Terminal

Clearbrook, MN – This morning, Water Protectors erected multiple blockades at a major U.S.-Canadian tar sands terminal in Clearbrook, Minnesota in direct opposition to Enbridge’s Line 3. From grandmothers to young people, Water Protectors of all walks of life continue to stand up for the sacred.

On one end of the mile-long blockade, grandmothers led beautiful solidarity with Anishinaabe treaty territory and Mother Earth, in front of a boat painted with MMIWG2S messages.

“We, elder women, stand in loving solidarity with our Indigenous relatives and all Water Protectors.

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Pressure Is Building On President Biden To Stop Line 3

After walking more than 250 miles over 16 days, from the headwaters of the Mississippi River down to the Twin Cities, water protectors fighting to stop the Line 3 tar sands pipeline were met by more than 2,000 people gathered outside the Minnesota State Capitol. The group came together across race, occupation and generation, in ceremony and solidarity to send a message that the opposition to Line 3 isn’t going anywhere.

This powerful gathering came amid a months-long campaign by Indigenous-led water protectors and allies who have been bravely putting their bodies on the line along the Line 3 route to stop construction of this pipeline, which is currently being built through critical waterways in northern Minnesota in violation of Indigenous treaty rights.

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Arrests Made As Water Protectors Rally At Governor’s Residence

St. Paul, MN – On Saturday morning, hundreds of people participated in a march from the MN State Capitol to the Governor’s residence led by pipeline resistance camp Camp Migizi. According to a statement from an organizer, Jaike Spotted-Wolf, Camp Migizi assembled at the Governor’s mansion to peacefully protest against Line 3, and for treaty rights and Indigenous Sovereignty. Armed police with riot gear have arrested over 50 Water Protectors with more arrests ongoing. 

Since Wednesday’s Treaties Not Tar Sands Rally to Stop Line 3, a group of peaceful water protectors were holding ceremonial space on the Capitol lawn. After the ceremony was interrupted by over 200 officers, forcing them to take down a ceremonial tipi, organizers decided to take their demands to the governor’s residence. 

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Thousands Of Water Protectors Rally At The Minnesota State Capitol

St Paul, MN – On Wednesday afternoon, more than 2,000 water protectors gathered outside the Minnesota State Capitol for the Treaties not Tar Sands Rally to stop the Line 3 tar sands pipeline and called on the Biden Administration to revoke federal permits for the project. The rally featured remarks from Indigenous leaders with the movement to stop Line 3, local community organizers for racial justice and Native sovereignty, and Minnesota state elected officials. 

The rally began as the Treaty People Walk for Water arrived, the walkers having traveled over 250 miles from the Line 3 pipeline crossing at the Mississippi River headwaters to the Capitol. Hundreds of people joined the last leg of the walk, and all wore orange in commemoration of the missing and murdered Indigenous children who continue to be found across North America. 

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Despite Thousands of Protestors, Line 3 Almost Done

In the dense coniferous forests of northern Minnesota, they’ve shown up nearly every day to chain themselves to equipment and block traffic on roads, chanting “water is life.”

Not a week has passed this summer that activists haven’t used their bodies to stymie construction of Line 3, an oil pipeline that would deliver energy-intensive Canadian crude from the tar sands of Alberta to the Midwest. But those efforts don’t appear to be stopping the project, which has steamrolled forward since obtaining its final permits late last year.

All but the Minnesota section of Enbridge Energy’s 1,031-mile pipeline has been finished, and now the Canada-based energy giant says that that remaining work is 80 percent complete.

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Water Walkers Headed For Minnesota Capitol

Water walkers bound for the Minnesota State Capitol left Backus, MN this morning after spending the night at the home of an ally along the route. The walk began last Saturday at the Fire Light Water Protector camp situated on the Mississippi River.

Water protectors spent nearly three weeks camping on the roadside near the Upper Mississippi to monitor Enbridge’s drilling activity under the river as they construct the Line 3 Tar Sands pipeline. Enbridge has drilled under dozens of rivers and waterways, causing several major “frac outs” that spilled toxic drilling fluid into rivers and wetlands. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has not appeared to provide oversight or consistently monitor Enbridge’s work.

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Water Protectors Shut Down Line 3 Worksite

Floodwood, MN – On Saturday July 10th, water protectors stopped construction for a full day on an Enbridge worksite laying pipe for the Line 3 pipeline. Two water protectors locked to each other through the treads of a machine, while two others climbed up an excavator’s arm, where they stayed for 7 hours. This action took place on Anishinaabe treaty territories in solidarity with leaders of the growing Indigenous-led resistance to Line 3.                                                                                        

As these four water protectors stopped machinery, a large crowd gathered on the roadway in support, drumming, singing, and rallying in the summer heat. About 30 police officers from St. Louis, Carlton, and Aitkin counties responded, as well as State Troopers and a Fond Du Lac Tribal Officer.

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Police Paid By Calgary-Based Enbridge Block Access To Water Protectors Camp

The Giniw Collective has tweeted: “Hubbard County has escalated their repression — this is the roadway to our private property and our driveway. We’ve now constructed a barricade in front of our private land, police are everywhere. Police paid by Enbridge.”

The Intercept further explains: “A Minnesota Sheriff’s office blocked access Monday morning to one of the protest encampments set up to resist the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline.”

“In a notice delivered at 6 a.m. to pipeline opponents, who own the property, the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office stated that it would no longer be allowing vehicular traffic on the small strip of county-owned land between the driveway and the road.”

“Water protectors see the road blockade as another example of local sheriff’s offices working to protect the interests of Enbridge, the Canadian tar sands pipeline company.”

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The Culture Of Vehicular Attacks: On The Murder Of Deona Marie Erickson

On June 13, a driver attacked a demonstration in Minneapolis, killing Deona Marie Erickson. This is the result of years of right-wing efforts to normalize—and even legalize—vehicular attacks. Now the corporate media has ceased to prioritize covering them, paving the way for more killings. In dialogue with our comrades at  It’s Going Down and on the ground in Minneapolis, we have prepared the following reflections on the implications of this.

Shortly before midnight on June 13, while demonstrators gathered at Lake Street and Girard Avenue to protest the murder of Winston Smith by sheriff’s deputies and US Marshals, a man named Nicholas Kraus drove his SUV into the crowd at high speed, killing Deona Marie Erickson.

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