SAINT PAUL, Minn. — Today, protesters against Line 3 clashed with pro-Trump counter-protestors in front of the Governor’s Mansion in Saint Paul, Minn. 

 On Thursday, November 12, 2020, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) approved various permits for Enbridge’s Line 3, moving the Calgary-based pipeline replacement project closer to completion.

Enbridge’s Line 3 is the largest project in the company’s history, and would be one of the largest crude oil pipelines in the continent, according to a statement on the">company’s website.  Line 3 is expected to transport up to 760,000 barrels a day through Northern Minnesota, passing through treaty lands of several Ojibwe bands. 

Canada, North Dakota, and Wisconsin have all approved their segments of the pipeline. 

Line 3 has been a hotly debated topic for several years, having both vocal proponents and opponents, citing climate change, job creation, safer transportation of crude oil, and tribal sovereignty. 

Current Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has previously made comments on social media against pipelines, specifically because they pass through tribal lands, but at the time he made them, he was a state representative. He hasn’t since made public comments either supporting or opposing the project. 

Community organizations, leaders, and tribes have all spoken against the pipeline. 

“As many people know, I have long expressed opposition to the Line 3 project and my position has not changed,” said Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan in an email to Native News Online

Flanagan is an enrolled member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe and is considered by many to be one of Line 3’s biggest opponents.

The Star Tribune reported that White Earth Band of Ojibwe Tribal Chairman Michael Fairbanks wrote a letter to MPCA Commissioner Laura Bishop and asked the agency to deny permission of Line 3 citing that the activity will be a super-spreader for COVID-19. 

“The Governor and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Commissioner Laura Bishop decided that this [decision">statement, “They [Enbridge">website, oil transported through Line 3 is the equivalent of the total CO2 daily emissions of 16-18 million cars, every year the pipeline operates.

As Line 3 protesters stand outside the Govenor's Mansion, Trump supporters show up to erroneously claim the election was stolen.

Towards the end of the two-hour event, the crowd of nearly 400 protestors against the permission of Line 3, were met with pro-Trump supporters voicing their support for pipelines. They cited a fraudulent election, a claim that is being widely denied in courts and in media throughout the country. 

Pro-Trump supporters eventually swelled to a crowd of nearly 300 people in front of the Governor’s Mansion, wearing Proud Boys memorabilia, waving Trump | Pence flags, and carrying assault-like rifles with alcohol in their hands chanting, “Four more years!”

Support Independent Indigenous Journalism

Native News Online is an independent, Indigenous-led newsroom with a crucial mission:  We want to change the narrative about Indian Country. We do this by producing intelligent, fact-based journalism that tells the full story from all corners of Indian Country.  We pride ourselves on covering the tribes you may have never heard of before and by respecting and listening to the communities we serve through our reporting. As newsrooms across the country continue to shrink, coverage of Indian Country is more important than ever, and we are committed to filling this ever-present hole in journalism.

Because we believe everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities, the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. But we hope it inspires you to make a gift to Native News Online so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount, big or small, gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. 
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.

About The Author
Author: Darren Thompson