Members of the progressive \u0022Squad\u0022 held a press conference in Minnesota on Friday to draw attention to the Indigenous-led fight against Enbridge\u0026#039;s Line 3 tar sands pipeline, which water protectors and environmentalists have been battling on the ground and in court.\r\n\r\n\u0022We are here to shed light and spread awareness about this egregious violation of tribal sovereignty and environmental injustice—and to hear directly from those whose voices have been ignored throughout the process.\u0022\r\n—Rep. Ayanna Pressley\r\n\r\nHosted by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), the press conference also featured remarks from U.S. Reps. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) as well as Minnesota state Sen. Mary Kunesh (DFL-41).\r\n\r\n\u0022We are here because nearly all of Minnesota is in a state of drought,\u0022 Omar explained. \u0022We are here because wildfires are burning in northern Minnesota. We are here because the Twin Cities just had their hottest summer on record. We are here because the climate crisis is here.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022The climate crisis is now,\u0022 she continued. \u0022The climate crisis is happening and the last thing we need to do is allow the very criminals who created this crisis to build more fossil fuel infrastructure.\u0022\r\n\r\nOmar pointed out that the Canadian company\u0026#039;s partly completed Line 3 pipeline—intended to replace an aging pipeline with smaller capacity—is set to cross wetlands and over 200 water bodies, endangering the health of her constituents and treaty lands of Indigenous peoples.\r\n\r\nThe Minnesota Democrat also highlighted law enforcement\u0026#039;s oppression of Line 3 protesters, noting that over 700 water protectors and Indigenous leaders have been arrested.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAs Pressley put it: \u0022We are here to shed light and spread awareness about this egregious violation of tribal sovereignty and environmental injustice—and to hear directly from those whose voices have been ignored throughout the process.\u0022\r\n\r\nThe Squad members are planning to meet with Indigenous leaders in Minnesota on Saturday.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe Friday event came just a few days after Omar, Kunesh, and Minnesota state Rep. Heather Keeler (DFL-4A) led a letter (pdf)—joined by state and federal lawmakers—urging President Joe Biden to intervene \u0022to protect Indigenous sovereignty amidst the construction\u0022 of the pipeline.\r\n\r\n\u0022In recent weeks,\u0022 the letter to Biden said, \u0022we have seen concerning violations of treaty rights by public agencies and private actors, ongoing violence against Indigenous women, and environmental impacts that will have long-lasting impacts on hunting, fishing, and wild rice gathering as we grapple with the climate crisis.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022We ask that the Department of Interior uphold the rights guaranteed to Indigenous people under federal treaties and fulfill tribal requests for a government-to-government meeting concerning Line 3,\u0022 the letter continued.\r\n\r\nAmong the lawmakers who signed on to the the letter was Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who had planned to visit Minnesota with her colleagues before the remnants of Hurricane Ida devastated the Northeast, including her New York City district, this week.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nTlaib, who also signed the letter to Biden, said of Line 3 on Friday, \u0022Look, I\u0026#039;m here to help shut it down—and at home in Michigan, we also know firsthand that Enbridge can\u0026#039;t be trusted.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022Enbridge is responsible for the worst inland oil spill in American history,\u0022 Tlaib noted, referencing the Kalamazoo River disaster of 2010. She also highlighted the ongoing fight in her state over Line 5.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe passionate speeches from all lawmakers present came after Biden said Thursday that \u0022the past few days of Hurricane Ida and the wildfires in the West and the unprecedented flash floods in New York and New Jersey is yet another reminder that these extreme storms and the climate... crisis are here.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022We need to… be much better prepared. We need to act,\u0022 he said, touting his Build Back Better agenda that Democrats in Congress are working to enact through the budget reconciliation process.\r\n\r\nThe president, however, has neglected to take action to stop Line 3—like he did for the Keystone XL Pipeline shortly after taking office. In what one critic called a \u0022horrible and unconscionable betrayal,\u0022 Biden\u0026#039;s administration has continued to defend in federal court the approval of Enbridge\u0026#039;s controversial project under his predecessor.