News Release

Lakota People's Law Project

As the resistance to Line 3 — a Canadian pipeline expansion slated to bring nearly a million barrels per day of tar sands oil from Canada to Wisconsin — heats up, activists are bringing their resistance to the doorstep of the Biden administration.

In the wake of more than 600 recent arrests of unarmed, non-violent protesters on unceded treaty land in Minnesota — sometimes involving use of gas and rubber bullets by police — activists are preparing to rally and hold ceremony in Washington, D.C. They’ll also deliver 127,000 petitions signed by allies who want President Joe Biden to intercede on behalf of Anishinaabe people who say the pipeline threatens their sacred lands and waterways.

Chase Iron Eyes is co-director and lead counsel for the Lakota People’s Law Project, a nonprofit Native rights organization helping to organize Saturday’s event. “We’re here to support our Anishinaabe relatives, who are simply protecting their sacred homelands and waterways against the forces of extractive greed,” he said. “We are all battling a climate emergency, and we ask that President Biden take a firm stand to protect the Earth for future generations. The president has the power to stop this, just as he did with the Keystone XL pipeline earlier this year.”

Indigenous people and activist allies are not alone in their opposition to Line 3. Nearly 30 lawmakers from the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives — led by Congresswomen Ilhan Omar (D-Minn) and Primila Jayapal (D-Wash) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore) — recently sent a letter to Biden requesting additional environmental oversight from the Army Corps of Engineers.

Line 3, Iron Eyes said, would violate the treaty rights of Anishinaabe peoples and nations in its path. Wild rice, a centerpiece of Anishinaabe culture, grows in numerous watersheds being crossed by Line 3.

Saturday’s events will include a ceremony at the National Museum of the American Indian to support indigenous water protectors fighting Line 3, from 10 A.M. to 12 p.m. EDT. The ceremony will be followed by the petition drop at the Capitol.

Event organizers said they welcome participation from allies, and the Lakota People’s Law Project provided some rules of the road on its website. Out of respect, media in attendance is asked not to photograph or record during the ceremony unless given explicit permission from Indigenous organizers onsite.

Planners of the gathering were still awaiting a permit as of press time, but, Iron Eyes said, they’ll “move forward to hold ceremony on stolen land of the Piscataway people.”

“It’s well-past time to end the legacy of theft from, and destruction of, indigenous peoples and territories. We must support this resistance with all our might,” said Iron Eyes. “Once again, as in the battle against the Dakota Access pipeline at Standing Rock in 2016 and 2017, indigenous people are on the frontlines of a fight we never asked for but must undertake.”

More information and action opportunities can be found here:

The Lakota People's Law Project operates under the 501(c)(3) Romero Institute, a nonprofit law and policy center.

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