Ojibwe water protector Tara Houska on police violence paid for by Canadian pipeline company

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On August 13, Ojibwe water protector Tara Zhaabowekwe Houska posted on Facebook about being shot with rubber bullets paid for by Calgary-based Enbridge Inc., the company now building the Line 3 tar sands export pipeline in Minnesota.

Houska writes:

15 days ago I got shot with rubber bullets, mace, and pepper balls paid for by Enbridge.

4 of us jumped off a ladder into a wall of police. I figured I might be seriously injured, but the sound of the drill filled my head. It was all I could hear, at the end. In our handcuffs and zip ties, the 4 rubber bullets that hit me and the chemicals all over my body began to burn as some cops laughed at us, others looked uncomfortable.

I was put into solitary confinement for 4 days after that, after a trip to the hospital because the fire red on the back of my left knee was concerning even to the police. My mind played young people being shot at under a smoky sky with a red sun next to a nearly-empty river being drilled under on an endless loop.

When I [was released and] stepped out into sunshine, the smiles and songs of land defenders greeted. The world felt brave again.

The machines are just south of our camp now, these woods I’ve lived in for 3 years.

The night after getting out of solitary, Line 3 construction kept on shaking the earth, relentless and desperate to finish.

One of my wounds seems to be permanent, with hard scar tissue underneath. Hubbard County used pain compliance techniques on the fearless defenders who stopped Enbridge’s machines 2 days ago. Police brutality on behalf of a foreign corporation.

Her full post can be read here.

Earlier this week, Audrey Carleton reported on the assault against Houska and other water protectors and detailed how Enbridge “has given Minnesota law enforcement $2 million to fund the policing of protests against construction of its pipeline.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approved the construction of the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline in November 2016.

The Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has documented that the top five financiers of Enbridge are Canadian banks: TD Bank, Bank of Montreal, Scotiabank, RBC and CIBC. Collectively they have provided billions of dollars in financing to Enbridge.

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