ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota troopers on Friday arrested four people protesting Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 replacement pipeline project at the state Capitol.
Videos posted on social media showed law enforcement officers surrounding about a dozen protesters. About 1,000 demonstrators gathered earlier in the week for a major rally calling on Democratic Gov. Tim Walz and President Joe Biden to pull permits and shut down the replacement pipeline project.
Department of Public Safety spokesman Bruce Gordon told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that the arrests happened after a teepee remained on the Capitol grounds Friday after the event permit expired Thursday evening. The State Patrol, which is responsible for Capitol security, met with tribal liaisons, owners of the tepee and other group leaders “to come to an agreement for the group to voluntarily take the tepee down,” he said in an email.
“The tepee was removed by its owners while troopers provided security today. Personal property that remained at the site was also removed by members of the group,” Gordon said. “Some individuals were uncooperative with creating space for the tepee to come down.”
He said four people were arrested for misdemeanor trespass and two more were cited and released for obstruction.
Indigenous and environmental activists who oppose the pipeline argue the project violates Native American treaty rights and will aggravate climate change and risk spills that would contaminate areas where Indigenous people hunt, fish and gather wild rice.
Line 3 starts in Alberta and clips a corner of North Dakota before crossing northern Minnesota en route to Enbridge’s terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. The 337-mile (542.35-kilometer) segment in Minnesota is the last phase in replacing the deteriorating pipeline that was built in the 1960s. Construction began in December.
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