Water protector Winona LaDuke on meeting with Mary Lawlor and the “Enbridge model” of financing police violence

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On October 11, Anishinaabe water protector Winona LaDuke was interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! about the struggle against the Enbridge Line 3 export pipeline that runs from Alberta, Canada to Lake Superior in the United States.

Last week The Guardian reported that Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. paid Minnesota police $2.4 million in reimbursements, as Goodman notes, “all costs tied to the arrests and surveillance of hundreds of water protectors, including officer training, wages, overtime, meals, hotels and equipment for the local police, paid for by an international corporation.”

Goodman: “In August, you met with the U.N. special rapporteur on human rights defenders to share the police violence suffered by water protectors protesting the Line 3 construction site. And now we are learning just how much money the Canadian corporation gave to the local police to do the arrests, to do the training, etc. What happened with the U.N. rapporteur?”

LaDuke: “The U.N. rapporteur has asked the United States a bunch of questions and is expecting a response on what exactly the United States is planning to do to protect the human rights of Indigenous peoples, because this pipeline does not respect not only treaty rights, but, you know, when you get 900 people arrested and they’re brutalized with all kinds of — you know, I mean, it is torture. Some of what was done to these people is classified as it’s excessive force. So, the United Nations has called to task the United States on the Enbridge pipeline.”

Canada in the World

LaDuke: “And I just want to say that this isn’t just like our problem, because the Enbridge model — like, first of all, Canadian multinationals kill people in Third World countries. That’s what they do. You know, that is known. Seventy-five percent of the world’s mining corporations are Canadian, and all through Latin America there’s human rights violations. This is no different. This is a Canadian multinational and Indigenous people.”

Further reading

The full transcript and video of the Democracy Now! interview is here.

More on the meeting with UN Special Rapporteur Mary Lawlor and the funding relationship between Enbridge and Minnesota police at: Giniw Collective meets with UN Special Rapporteur Lawlor, discuss Canadian company funding police in Minnesota.

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