On the day of Daunte Wright’s funeral, we continue to mourn his murder and the murder of George Floyd. They should be alive today.
Rather than meeting our grief, rage, and trauma with respect or accountability, lawmakers have responded to this moment with occupation and violent escalation from Operation Safety Net, a militarized police operation. OSN has spent the last week and a half terrorizing Brooklyn Center residents, peaceful protesters, and reporters with tear gas, rubber bullets, and arrest.
Across Minnesota, people are standing together and speaking out against police violence and oppression in our local communities. As protesters in Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center have faced state-sanctioned violence, water protectors in Northern Minnesota are being targeted with police surveillance and harassment as they organize nonviolent direct action to stop the Line 3 pipeline.
If you aren’t familiar with Line 3, take this Earth Day to learn more and take action to stop it. This pipeline’s construction violates treaty rights, threatens vulnerable communities with increased COVID-19 exposure and spread, and exacerbates the already devastating reality of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Its completion would single-handedly destroy our chances of a healthy climate future.
Police departments along the construction route are being directly funded by Enbridge, the Canadian corporation responsible for the pipeline. Enbridge is reimbursing the cost of “less than lethal” munitions, which are a planned component of suppressing pipeline resistance, showing the Governor’s complicity in this escalation and the collaboration between Enbridge and law enforcement. Our government chose a Canadian corporation’s bottom line over our climate, our water, our tribes, and our children.
I asked Magdalena, my friend and co-worker, how we can comprehend these compounding crises. I am always grateful for their clarity and wisdom. They reminded us:
“Operation Safety Net – created in response to the George Floyd uprising and in anticipation of stop Line 3 protests – has caused despicable violence and terror in poor, Black, and brown communities in Brooklyn Center. Children have been displaced from their homes in an already traumatic time and families have no way to buy basic essentials. Brooklyn Center protests and vigils were peaceful. Protests against the pipeline have been peaceful. And yet the state responds with violence. We cannot allow this to continue. We must choose people and the planet over profit. For our children’s children, and their children, too. Which side are you on?”
Our liberation is bound together, and it’s our shared responsibility to stand on the good side of history. We cannot remain neutral at this pivotal moment in history: No pipelines! Not here, not anywhere! We all need to act for racial justice, climate justice, and gender justice:
- Sign the petition to end Operation Safety Net NOW.
- The MN Senate approved $9 million for out-of-state police for ‘Operation Safety Funds.’ This is unacceptable. The MN House will vote on a similar proposal soon. Take action now and tell your representatives to vote NO.
- See for yourself what’s happening in Brooklyn Center and join community-led mutual aid efforts.
- Join the movement to stop Line 3. Find power and solidarity with community at events in Duluth and Minneapolis this weekend for Earth Day.
- Read and share this article. (I recommend Mariame Kaba’s book, which houses this essay, in its entirety: We Do This ‘Til We Free Us.)
Together, we will stop Line 3. Together, we will build a world free from oppression and create community care and public safety that protects all of us. Together.