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Line 3 pipeline construction in Wisconsin sparks protests, arrests

An aerial view of the Enbridge pipeline under construction just south of Superior, Wis. on Aug. 8. Bob King | Duluth News Tribune
Dan Kraker, MPR news, Aug 30 2017 - 22:45

Three self-described "water protectors" are still in a Wisconsin jail after being arrested Tuesday for protesting an oil pipeline. The protesters temporarily stopped construction of what's known as Line 3, the oil pipeline Enbridge Energy wants to build across northern Minnesota.

It would replace an existing 50-year-old line that's still under regulatory review in Minnesota, but the company has already started work across the border.

Alexander Good-Cane-Milk of the Yankton Sioux Tribe in South Dakota was among the protesters. He locked himself to a piece of heavy equipment just across the Minnesota border, south of Superior, Wis., according to his girlfriend Ta'Sina Sapa Win.

She said Good-Cane-Milk wanted to make a sacrifice. They met while protesting the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation last year. They recently came to Minnesota to protest Line 3.

"Why did I want to come to Minnesota? Because our Ojibwe relatives helped stand for our fight against Dakota Access pipeline, and I'm going to stand with them in their fight," she said.

The activists streamed the event live on Facebook.

An aerial view of the Enbridge pipeline under construction 

Douglas County Sheriff Tom Dalbec said this is the third time the protesters have gone to Enbridge work sites in the past nine days. He says he warned them Monday they would be arrested if they trespassed a third time.

"Less than 24 hours later, there they are, walking out on the worksites, chaining themselves to heavy equipment and what not, so we enforced the law and started arresting them," he said.

Three of those arrested are from Cloquet, one is from South Dakota, one from Saskatchewan, and one from Ann Arbor, Mich. Three have since been released on bail.

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