Demonstrators Build Teepee, Have Ceremonial Fire During Line 3 Protest at Minnesota Capitol

Line 3 Protest


Demonstrators at the Minnesota capitol erected teepees and reportedly burned a ceremonial fire during a Stop Line 3 protest. Protesters had been occupying capitol grounds until Friday evening, despite their event permit being up Thursday evening at 10:00 p.m.

Stop Line 3 protests have been taking place in Minnesota for years, following the approval of the project by the U.S Army Corp of Engineers. In one instance, almost 250 protesters were arrested.

As reported by The Minnesota Sun, “The Stop Line 3 website says that Line 3 is harmful because it ‘would carry 700,000 barrels of tar sands oil from Canada each day. It would have a climate impact on par with Keystone, and pose an existential threat to waterways like the Mississippi. It would also violate Indigenous treaty rights.’”

Roots Action, a progressive organization, posted video of the protest at the Minnesota state capitol to Twitter. One of the videos is captioned, “cops in front of Minnesota state Capitol have surrounded water proctors and their ceremonial tipi! There are hundreds of cops. They are threatening arrest.”

Minnesota State Patrol can be seen making a perimeter around a solitary teepee that was left on the capitol grounds while a crowd of protesters shouts “Police say stand back, we say land back.”

Some on the scene claimed that the state troopers on the scene were “standing down,” after the perimeter of officers left the scene. However, after questioning the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, it appears as if the troopers were leaving after completing the task they were told to do.

Bruce Gordon, the director of communications for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, told The Sun, “All the teepees that were erected during the permitted events this week were removed yesterday [Thursday] by the event organizer, except for one.”

Gordon explained that due to the event permit for the protest expiring, state patrol had to assist in the removal of the final teepee.

Gordon said, “The state patrol, which is responsible for capitol security, met with tribal liaisons, owners of the teepee and other group leaders multiple times throughout the event and after the permit expired in an effort to come to an agreement for the group to voluntarily take the teepee down.”

Gordon shared the reason there was such a large police presence was that “some individuals were uncooperative with creating space for the teepee to come down.”

He said the protesters were told that they needed to vacate the area in preparation for other events taking place on Saturday.

Gordon told The Sun that as of Friday afternoon, four individuals were arrested for “misdemeanor trespass” and two additional individuals were “cited and released for obstruction.”

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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | Star News Network. Follow Hayley on Twitter or like her Facebook page. Send news tips to [email protected].
Photo “Protest” by RootsAction. 






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