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If completed, Line 3 would have the climate impact equivalent to fifty new coal-fired power plants. (Photo: 350.org)

If completed, Line 3 would have the climate impact equivalent to fifty new coal-fired power plants. (Photo: 350.org)

Stopping Line 3 Is a Matter of Intergenerational Justice

Take five minutes today to do three things to #StopLine3.

Akilah Sanders-Reed

Stopping Line 3 is a matter of racial, climate, and environmental justice. It is also a matter of intergenerational justice.

It is young people who are already bearing the brunt of the climate crisis, and it is future generations who will grow up in a world hollowed out by extinctions and ecosystem destruction. Rather than enjoying the privileges and stability generations before us took for granted, we are facing a future ever more ravaged by wildfires, hurricanes, and sea-level rise ― unless we rapidly end our addiction to fossil fuels.

This is why I have been fighting Enbridge’s Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline for the last five years. If completed, Line 3 would have the climate impact equivalent to fifty new coal-fired power plants; it would violate Indigenous nations’ rights to Free, Prior and Informed Consent; and it would endanger more than 200 waterways including the Mississippi River and the sacred wild rice lakes of the Anishinaabe people.

Young people have been fighting this pipeline in the legal process, in the streets, and on the frontlines as part of a beautiful people-powered movement to end the colonial and extractive fossil fuel era. Since early 2017, I’ve been one of a group of 13 young people who came together to legally intervene in the legal process against Line 3. We chose to represent ourselves without a lawyer, teaching ourselves the ins and outs of a complex legal process, bringing in Indigenous elders and climate scientists as our witnesses, and taking our seat at the table to speak directly to decision-makers.

Unfortunately, Enbridge spent more than $16.3 million on lobbying Minnesota politicians and state agencies to buy the permit approvals they needed, and after receiving its final state and federal permits in November, Enbridge launched an all-out construction assault on the beautiful forests of northern Minnesota ― clearing trees, digging trenches, and laying pipe around the clock.

It’s time to break the financial cycle that has extracted wealth from Indigenous, Black, Brown, and low-income communities for hundreds of years and funneled it into corporate pockets like Enbridge’s, leaving smaller and smaller crumbs for successive generations. That’s why I’m joining the call to #DefundLine3.

On March 31st, 18 major banks ― including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, TD Bank, and CitiBank ― have a $2.2 billion loan to Enbridge, the corporation behind Line 3, that is due for renewal. Between now and then, those banks have a major decision to make: either they walk away from Enbridge, or they renew that loan and choose to fund the colonial, racist, climate disaster that is Line 3.

Since the #DefundLine3 campaign launched last week, more than 11,000 people have sent direct emails to the CEOs of banks involved in the loan to Enbridge, demanding that they defund Line 3. On Tuesday, more than 600 people joined the #DefundLine3 campaign launch, where we drowned bank executives voicemails in our demands to stop funding Line 3 and collectively raised nearly $12,000 for the Indigenous-led frontlines resistance camps.

This week, we are picking up the phone and calling bank executives to demand that they do not renew their loan deal with Enbridge and that they #DefundLine3. Already more than 300 people have called to let the Wall Street executives know they must stop funding Line 3. And you can too ― that link has a call script and phone numbers, all you need to do is pick up the phone and dial! Our plan is to make their phones ring off the hook so that we’re impossible to ignore.

It’s now 41 days until March 31st. Between now and then, the banks on that toxic loan deal can expect to hear from thousands of people across the country. They can expect to see activists at bank branches. They can expect to see projection actions outside of executive homes. They can expect to receive tens of thousands of emails. They can expect to lose customers. If you’re a young person like me, you can sign the Not My Dirty Money pledge to never do business with banks funding climate catastrophe.

There are many ways to fight a pipeline, and together, we are powerful. Right now, the youth intervenors are still in court alongside the Red Lake Nation, White Earth Nation, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, and grassroots advocates fighting to stop Line 3. Nearly every day, water protectors are taking bold direct action ― in the middle of a freezing Minnesota winter over one hundred people have been arrested for stopping construction. (You can see the latest from the frontlines by following the Giniw Collective, Camp Migizi, RISE Coalition, Red Lake Treaty Camp, and Stop Line 3). And just yesterday, thousands of people from around the world participated in a social media “Art Storm to Stop Line 3” calling on President Biden to revoke Line 3’s federal permits that were rushed through in the final days of the Trump administration.Stand with us. Take five minutes today to do three things to #StopLine3:

  1. Join the campaign to #DefundLine3 by making a quick phone call.
  2. Donate to get supplies to the water protectors on the frontlines in northern Minnesota.
  3. Urge President Biden to stop Line 3 by revoking its permits.

Together, we can stop Line 3.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
Akilah Sanders-Reed

Akilah Sanders-Reed

Akilah Sanders-Reed (she/her) lives in Minneapolis, MN, where she works as the Oil Free Organizer for the Power Shift Network. Her work focuses on supporting the Network's 90+ network member groups in building a powerful youth-led climate justice movement, and resisting the Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline. Akilah sees pipeline resistance as one of the most direct and tangible ways of taking on the climate crisis and the extractive corporate power of the fossil fuel industry at the scale that we need to.

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