Washington, D.C. – The United States Attorney’s office has decided to not charge 33 Indigenous water protectors and their allies who were arrested while peacefully occupying the Bureau of Indian Affairs lobby in the US Department of Affairs building on October 14th, 2021. This was the first time since the 1972’s Trail of Broken Treaties that Indigenous leaders occupied the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Indigenous leaders were met with extreme violence from the police leaving one Indigenous woman with a broken hand, others were hit with batons, two people were tazed and an Indigenous media reporter was assaulted with an officer kneeling on his neck and had his equipment damaged by the police during the attack on peaceful water protectors.Continue reading
Oahu Water Protectors Demand Navy Stop Poisoning Their Community
A World War II Era underground storage tank containing over 100 million gallons of jet fuel at the Red Hill Fuel Facility has been leaking into the aquifer that provides water to the people of Oahu. Until recently, the Navy denied there were leaks or that the water was unsafe despite multiple complaints of health problems and an oil sheen found in the tap water. Now, the Oahu Water Protectors have gained the Navy’s attention and that of local and state elected officials. Wayne Tanaka of the Sierra Club of Hawaii speaks with Clearing the FOG about the fuel facility, what is at stake and how they are organizing to hold the US Navy accountable and shut the facility down. He also discusses the bigger picture of the environmental destruction caused by the US Military and its occupation of Hawai’i.Continue reading
Water Protectors Lead A Movement To Close Navy Fuel Site After Leak
Upwards of 100 water protectors rallied outside the Hawaii State Capitol in Honolulu on Dec. 10. Their greatest fears had just come true. The U.S. Navy had kept decaying fuel storage tanks just 100 feet above a water aquifer that functioned as the main source of drinking water on the island of O’ahu. Those tanks recently leaked jet fuel into the aquifer, poisoning thousands of people and creating irreparable damage to O’ahu’s water supply.Continue reading
Line 3 Replacement Has Been Completed So Why Are Activists Still Camping Out?
Every few days, Jaike Spotted-Wolf walks over to a well near Camp Migizi to refill several five-gallon water containers. At the camp, where Spotted-Wolf is one of several matriarchs, there is no plumbing, no pipes and no faucets. Residents take turns getting water, which they need for basics such as cooking and showers.
The camp was — and is — one of several resistance camps formed to oppose Enbridge’s now-completed Line 3 project, which replaced a corroding oil pipeline built in the 1960s with a new, larger pipeline. The pipeline runs through northern Minnesota to Superior, Wisconsin. Nearly a month and a half after oil-laden tar sands began flowing through the pipes, activists are still living at Camp Migizi and other sites.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
Water Protectors Show ‘Another World Is Possible’
A medic walked around the circle of 50 people occupying the lobby of the Department of the Interior, squirting water into our eager mouths before the police hauled us away. At the time, I had no idea that I wouldn’t be released until midnight, 12.5 hours after the action began. I just knew it was smart to stay hydrated, so I accepted every squirt of water offered, grateful for the care our Indigenous-led group was showing each other in circumstances designed to dehumanize us.
The Oct. 14 action occurred during the People vs. Fossil Fuels mobilization in Washington, D.C., a historic week of civil disobedience to pressure President Joe Biden to stop fossil fuel projects and declare a climate emergency. For Indigenous people, the protection of Mother Earth is deeply intertwined with the long struggle for Indigenous sovereignty, as destructive fossil fuel projects — like Line 3 in northern Minnesota — continue to be built through their territories without their consent.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
Indigenous Organizers Defend Menominee River
The Menominee River forms Wisconsin’s Northeastern border with Michigan, winding for about 120 miles and opening into Lake Michigan’s Green Bay. About thirty-five miles from the mouth of the river sits the proposed location of the Back Forty Mine, a project by the Canadian mining company, Aquila Resources.
The open pit mine that the company intends to dig out of land a mere 150 feet from the Menominee River in Michigan would be deeper than the height of the tallest building in Wisconsin, at 750 feet. The proposed mine will extract gold and sulfide from the banks of the river.
Opponents of the mining project warn that sulfide wastes will pollute the Menominee River, which provides the spawning grounds for one of the largest populations of lake sturgeon in the Lake Michigan basin.Continue reading
Water Protector Steve Martinez Released From Grand Jury Detention
Bismarck, ND – On March 3, Steve Martinez was jailed at the Burleigh County Detention Center after refusing to testify before a secret federal grand jury investigating 2016 protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Martinez is now finally free as of April 12, according to a statement posed to social media by the ‘Support Steve Martinez’ campaign.
Martinez has served over 60 in days in federal detention. He was previously been jailed for most of February 2021 for refusing to testify, but was briefly released after a judge found the magistrate who ordered him detained did not have the authority to do so.
In March 2017, a similar summons to for a grand jury in the same investigation was served to Martinez but eventually withdrawn by the court after he made it clear he would face jail rather than testify.Continue reading
Indigenous Water Protector Jailed For Refusing To Cooperate With Grand Jury
Bismarck, North Dakota – Water Protector Steve Martinez is confined in Burleigh County Detention Center after refusing, on principle, to give testimony before a federal grand jury. This Grand Jury, like the one at which Martinez refused to testify three years ago, ostensibly involves a criminal investigation into events leading to the grievous injury of Water Protector Sophia Wilansky. It has been the position of Morton County, ND that Ms. Wilansky was not injured as a result of excessive force by law enforcement, but by the actions of Water Protectors. In a federal civil rights lawsuit against Morton County, however, Wilansky says she was shot in the arm with a concussion grenade by a…Continue reading
Water Protectors Chain Themselves Inside Enbridge Line 3 Pipe
Minnesota – Water protectors were arrested Thursday after halting construction at a Minnesota worksite for Enbridge’s Line 3 project by locking themselves together inside a pipe segment.
“After moving to Minnesota to attend college and study environmental science, I was excited to be in a place where people valued protecting the Earth and finding a viable future. What I found, however, was a state that had formed ‘ambitious’ climate goals yet endorsed one of the dirtiest fossil fuels, tar sands oil,” water protector Abby Hornberger said in a statement. “I realized that Indigenous ways of knowing and practicing harmony with the environment are continuously ignored.”Continue reading
Indigenous Peoples’ Victory: Largest Dam Removal In The World
After nearly two decades, Indigenous Peoples win an agreement for the largest dam removal in the world. Four of the six dams on the Klamath River in California and Oregon will be taken down, allowing the water to flow freely again and the salmon to spawn. This is a powerful story of how four tribes put aside their past conflicts to work together and environmental groups participated in an indigenous-led campaign that took on two of the wealthiest men in the world, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. And this is an example of why, if we want to succeed in restoring our relationship with the earth, Indigenous Peoples must be at the forefront.Continue reading
California Tribes Oppose Proposed Water Tunnel
In early March, just weeks before California shut down due to COVID-19, more than 200 tribal citizens, environmentalists and others gathered in the city of Redding to protest a proposed massive water tunnel in the state.
Members of the Yurok, Hoopa Valley, Karuk, Pit River, Winnemem Wintu, Pomo and Miwok nations held an outdoor rally before speaking at a meeting on the Delta Tunnel Conveyance project, saying it would destroy water quality and devastate the state’s salmon population and other important fish species in the San Joaquin Delta estuary.Continue reading
Indigenous Defenders Are Front-Line Essential Workers
Canada – Expect to work 24/7 on-site. There are no benefits, no days off, and shelter is not provided. You will likely face threats, violence, criminalization, and arrest.
So, why are some of the most passionate, informed, brilliant, and resourceful people in Canada dedicating themselves to work that is insecure, dangerous, and unpaid?
Indigenous cultures are distinct but we share values of community, holistic understandings of all life, and a deep connection to the land and water. We know that colonial definitions of livelihood are incomplete and that our role is to live in harmony with the land that sustains us.Continue reading
Long-Awaited Win For Water Protectors
On Thursday, September 10, 2020, in a long-awaited ruling, United States District Court Judge Daniel Traynor (District of North Dakota) allowed a lawsuit challenging law enforcement’s 2016 use of fire hoses and munitions against water protectors opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to move forward with discovery. The case had been stalled for more than two years after Morton County and other defendants filed a motion asking the court to dismiss the case.
Plaintiff Vanessa Dundon is a member of the Navajo/ Diné Nation who was shot in the eye with a teargas canister while attempting to aid another person.Continue reading