February 27, 2017

The Next Chapter of Pipeline Resistance is Unfolding in the Midwest

Watching the footage of armored military vehicles rolling through the remains of the Oceti Sakowin camp last week was a powerful reminder of the lawless brutality still wielded by the oil companies and their purchased politicians.

But more powerful still was the strength and defiance in the voices of the water protectors as they resolved to carry this fight forward. For many, that meant transitioning to the higher ground of Sacred Stone Camp to keep up the vigil against the Dakota Access Pipelines. For others, it meant dispersing to unite with other fights across the country. And for some, it meant taking a final stand at Oceti Sakowin and joining the more than 700 people who have been arrested in North Dakota over the last few months.

After what happened in North Dakota, we know this fight isn’t over. It won’t be over until oil corporations are relegated to the dustbins of history, and replaced with an equitable energy system that honors and respects our human and ecological communities.

 

879 Students at Power Shift West Convergence 2016 march in solidarity with Standing Rock

 

Now, the next chapter of oil pipeline resistance is unfolding in the Midwest—and the first monumental weekend of resistance is coming up soon.

Enbridge, the irresponsible multinational corporation behind the 2010 Kalamazoo tar sands spill—one of the largest inland oil spills in U.S. history—and more than ¼ of the funding for the Dakota Access Pipeline, has launched plans to dramatically increase the tar sands oil they are transporting through Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Enbridge is claiming they want to “replace” Line 3, a decrepit, leaky tar sands oil pipeline—but their proposed “replacement” is a sleight-of-hand trick to build a bigger pipeline through a completely new route across Minnesota to Superior. Worse, they’re using this expansion to justify a second new pipeline, Line 66, from Superior onward across Wisconsin.

These pipelines would trespass on Anishinaabeg treaty land, jeopardize the largest wild rice beds in the world, cut across the headwaters of the Mississippi, and result in the seizure of private land for construction.

But we’re fighting back. On March 4-5, student leaders from across Minnesota & Wisconsin are uniting to march through the streets of Whitewater, Wisconsin, and then will gather for a Youth Strategy Summit to make concrete plans for organizing our campuses and communities in the upcoming months.

We’ll get to know one another as allies in this fight, and then build our strategy to permanently halt the extraction and transportation of oil in the Midwest.

And there’s no time to lose. Just two days after the Summit, on March 7, the most urgent mass mobilization in our region is happening in Bemidji, Minnesota, where the federal government is holding their only public meeting on Enbridge’s pipeline expansion plans.

Then, two months later, the fossil fuel resistance movement will be showing up in full force to join with the People’s Climate Mobilization March for Jobs, Justice, and and Climate in Washington D.C. on April 29.

And between now and then, we’ve got a ruckus to raise as we fight these oil projects at every step of the process.

Especially as we watch the final sections of the Dakota Access Pipeline being forced beneath the Missouri River, it’s clearer than ever that justice for Standing Rock and the thousands of others communities exploited and endangered by the oil industry will only be achieved when these corporations no longer have the stability or credibility to function.

Are you in? Join youth activists from across the Midwest for a weekend of building solidarity and power to take on Enbridge and resist the fossil fuel industry in our backyards. Register for the Midwest Pipeline Resistance Youth Summit on March 4-5 today.

 

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