LAKE ALICE TOWNSHIP -- More than two dozen arrests were made as a result of a peaceful Line 3 protest blockading an Enbridge construction site with a prayer lodge on Thursday. According to arrest records, 92% of the protestors arrested live at addresses outside of northern Minnesota.
In total, 26 people were arrested on the afternoon of March 25 in Lake Alice Township, near Itasca State Park and Lake George in Hubbard County, according to a release from the Northern Lights Task Force. The task force is a law enforcement coalition, “designed to address public safety needs posed by the installation of the pipeline across northern Minnesota.”
According to the task force report, at 11:17 a.m., the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office received a report of approximately 30 pipeline protesters standing on the side of U.S. Highway 71 at an Enbridge pipeline crossing in Lake Alice Township.
Upon arrival, officers found numerous vehicles parked along the highway, a crowd of protesters standing on the edge of the roadway, and approximately 20 protesters on private property within the pipeline easement, the release said. A dispersal order was given to those on the highway and also to those trespassing on private property. Some individuals complied with the order, moving their vehicles and leaving the area, the release continued.
According to a release sent March 25 by the Giniw Collective, an environmental Indigenous-led resistance group, around seven Indigenous water protectors were singing and praying inside of a waaginogaaning, a traditional Anishinaabe structure, while another dozen or so protestors locked themselves to one another in a circle around the lodge, temporarily halting Line 3 construction.
Enbridge representative Juli Kellner sent a statement to the Pioneer soon after the incident, stating, "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."
Protestors streamed an 80-minute video of their prayers, songs and encounters with law enforcement. The livestream appeared to show Hubbard and Beltrami County Sheriffs’ Office deputies cutting off the protestors' locking devices and making arrests.
“You guys are all under arrest for unlawful assembly and trespassing,” one officer said toward the remaining individuals within the lodge near the end of the stream. The video feed cuts off as officers lifted the lodge off of protestors.
Representatives from tribes around the country have joined forces with Ojibwe “water protectors” in the state. Many of those arrested Thursday were not from Minnesota.
“I’m here to stand up for the wetlands because in my homelands the wetlands were destroyed by colonization and exploitation. It breaks my heart to see what is happening here to the land. It’s our responsibility to stand together as Indigenous peoples and defend our ways of life," Maura Sullivan, from the Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation in California, said during the event.
In total, 26 people were arrested -- all were charged with unlawful assembly and trespassing, which are generally misdemeanors. Some of the protestors faced additional charges for obstructing legal process and public nuisance. Below is a list of all who were arrested March 25:
Christian Briones of Garland, Texas.
Micah Lott Carpenter of Arapahoe, Wyo.
Helen Clanaugh of Duluth, Minn.
Joshua Decker of Missoula, Mont.
Daniel Dixon of Washington, D.C.
Jennifer Dylkowski, of Stacy, Minn.
Anne Franklin of Arroyo Seco, N.M.
Tara Houska of Minneapolis, Minn.
David Ingold of Minneapolis, Minn.
Elsa Johnson of Boulder, Colo.
Michael Kuhn of Minneapolis, Minn.
Erik Leigh of Chisago City, Minn.
Regan Loggans of Brooklyn, N.Y.
Natalie Marsh of Springfield, Va.
Shane Mcsauby of Grand Rapids, Mich.
Joseph Meinholz of Minneapolis, Minn.
Nteboheng Mokuena of Baltimore, Md.
Danika Pandilla of Monterey, Mass.
Victor Puertas of Salt Lake City, Utah
Avery Beattie of Red Wing, Minn.
Savannah Romero of Tukwila, Va.
Anna Schumacher of Detroit Lakes, Minn.
Rafael Feikema of Williamsburg, Va.
Natalie Steinberg of Springfield, Va.
Maya Stovall of Macomb, Ill.
Maura Sullivan of New Orleans, La.
Katie Woodward of Minneapolis, Minn.
The arrested individuals were transported to the Hubbard County Jail and are awaiting arraignment, according to the Northern Lights Task Force release. According to a Facebook post from one of the protestors, those that were arrested were held overnight and released on March 26.