Protesters known as "water protectors" blockaded Enbridge Line 3 worksites Wednesday morning in the Savanna State Forest in Northeastern Minnesota.
At one location, a protester ascended a 40-foot, two-legged stand, according to a news release from the Giniw Collective. At another location, two protesters stationed themselves on a flipped-over vehicle with a sign that read "doom to Line 3 or doom to us all" and blocked the entry road.
Nonviolent resistance to Line 3 continues to grow across Anishinaabe treaty territory in northern Minnesota, the release said. Pipeline opponents say the pipeline construction violates treaty rights, risks chance of an oil spill and deepens reliance on fossil fuels.
Big Wind of the Northern Arapahoe Tribe in Wyoming said in the release: “As a tribal citizen from an 'oil and gas tribe,' I know we are not devoid from the societal norms that prioritizes profit over the planet. For generations, multinational corporations have (duped) us all with their hush money. No more. We are waking up. Our silence will not be bought."
In a statement sent to the Bemidji Pioneer on Wednesday night, Enbridge said the protests that day "had little effect on the project."
"Simultaneous work continued across the 337-mile route at multiple construction sites," the statement said. "Our first priority is the safety of all involved: our workers, men and women in law enforcement and the protestors themselves. As a company, we recognize the rights of individuals and groups to express their views legally and peacefully.
"We don’t tolerate illegal activities of any kind, including trespassing, vandalism or other mischief, and Enbridge will seek to prosecute those individuals to the fullest extent of the law," the statement said.
Enbridge said that the Line 3 replacement project is creating "5,200 family-sustaining construction jobs, and millions of dollars in local spending and tax revenues."
Construction on Line 3 began Dec. 1. When it's complete, it will transport oil from Alberta, Canada, to Superior and follow a partially new route.
This story was updated at 6:10 p.m. Feb. 24 to include a statement from Enbridge. It was originally posted at 12:31 p.m. Feb. 24.