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

Above Photo: Garrison Davis.

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.”

That article adds: “The Namewag camp has been used as a jumping-off point for water protectors conducting direct-action protests.”

Canadian company pays for the police

This past March, Emily Atkin reported in Heated: “Enbridge established a financial relationship with Minnesota law enforcement in May 2020, when the state Public Utilities Commission approved Line 3’s route permit. That permit required the oil giant to set up a special fund that would reimburse police responding to anything pipeline-related.”

The Line 3 pipeline financed by Canadian banks

The Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. 760,000 barrel per day Line 3 tar sands pipeline would run from Hardisty, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin. It would be 1,659 kilometres in length, of which about 585 kilometres would be in the United States.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approved the construction of the Line 3 pipeline in Canada in November 2016. Enbridge has reported that the Canadian portion of the pipeline is complete and began commercial service in December 2019.

The Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has documented that the top five financiers of Enbridge are Canadian banks: TD Bank, Bank of Montreal, Scotiabank, RBC and CIBC. Collectively they have provided billions of dollars in financing to Enbridge.

Current status of pipeline

RAN has noted: “The [542 kilometre] Minnesota stretch of the pipeline is all that remains to be built. In November 2020, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency approved the final permits for the pipeline.” Work on that portion of the pipeline began on December 1, 2020.

On June 8, Winona LaDuke of Honor the Earth told Democracy Now! that the pipeline is “far from done” with “35 or 40 percent” completed and that Enbridge has many rivers to cross that they can’t begin to do until July.

We continue to follow this situation with great concern.