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Water Protectors Intensify Campaign To Shut Down Line 3 Oil Pipeline

Gina Peltier says she has had enough. A member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, Peltier is one of the more than 1,000 Indigenous water protectors and climate activists who have converged on northern Minnesota as part of the escalating effort to halt construction on Enbridge’s Line 3 oil pipeline. Early Monday morning, she stood on a gravel road near the banks of the Mississippi River as she and others prepared to engage in civil disobedience to stop the pipeline. “This is a straight-up war on our water,” said Peltier, whose gentle demeanor belies her unflinching fierceness. “They legitimately want to make money on the scarcity of water.”

Since the nearly $3 billion project was first proposed in 2014, Anishinaabe tribes and allies have been leading resistance against the project, which they say violates Native American treaty rights, jeopardizes the area’s natural resources, and will inevitably fuel global climate change. A Minnesota agency granted the final permits for construction last November, spurring Indigenous water protectors—spearheaded by the Giniw Collective—to repeatedly occupy construction zones to protest the project.