Article and photos by Howie Rotman
Wednesday evening, August 25, 2021 hundreds of supporters in solidarity with the First Nation Indigenous-Led movement against the Enbridge Corporation’s construction of the Line 3 tar sands crude oil pipeline held a rally and vigil at the Jamaica Pond Boathouse in Jamaica Plain, Boston, Massachusetts. Nationwide actions were also held in Chicago, New York City, Washington D.C., and St. Paul, to demand Joe Biden, the so-called “Climate President”, and White House Climate Advisor, Gina McCarthy, stop Enbridge’s Line 3 construction. And stop the illegal invasion and occupation of Anishinaabe land, a violation of official treaties from 1837, 1854, and 1855.
Following the rally and vigil at Jamaica Pond, First Nation leaders led a large procession across the street to the nearby home of Gina McCarthy to rally and present letters at her home, chanting – “ Gina, Do Your Job! Stop Line 3! Or it is your legacy!”….”Water is Life!” – and protesting the White House Climate Czar’s public comments made on Tuesday , August 17, when she clearly stated that fossil fuels would be part of the Biden administration’s agenda for power generation in the country.
The pipeline will inevitably contaminate wild rice beds, an important food that is sacred to the Anishinaabe People. Environmentally, the pipeline is a disaster. Enbridge pipelines have spilled over 800 times in 15 years, and the 300,000 people who live downstream of the Mississippi River are at risk. The Line 3 pipeline has already generated 28 frac-outs, where drilling fluid pollutes the rivers. The pipeline’s completion will double Minnesota’s carbon emissions, the equivalent of 50 coal-fired power plants.
Tar sands oil, which the pipeline will carry, is not the future of energy infrastructure, but a desperate last-ditch effort by a corrupt, entrenched fossil fuel industry whose profit-seeking hurtles the planet and people towards disaster.
Men who construct the pipeline have solicited sex from minors and contributed to the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives, Women, and Two Spirit people.
Indigenous leaders and water protectors have been brutalized by local police, hired by Enbridge, as they have tried to enforce treaty rights and resist construction. Nonviolent demonstrations have been met with rubber bullets, tear gas, non-lethal pain weapons, and much more. This is but a continuation of repressive settler-colonial policy on behalf of the government of the so-called United States against Indigenous people.
Sponsors of the Rally & Vigil included United American Indians of New England, No Coal No Gas, Massachusetts Peace Action, 350 Mass Action. and 350 Mass for a Better Future.
Video of the rally can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=384325536463177 and https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=379327510420675