Ojibwe water protector Tara Houska in court after being criminalized for opposing Line 3 pipeline by Enbridge-funded police

Published by Brent Patterson on

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Tara Houska. Photo by MPR News.

On February 23, water protector Tara Zhaabowekwe Houska posted:

Tomorrow at 1:30pm, I’ll appear at my first hearing on multiple criminal charges, including gross misdemeanor trespass on critical infrastructure, from a #StopLine3 demonstration on January 9, 2021.

Of over a dozen arrests, only a handful of us have outstanding charges from that date, mostly Ojibwe women who were charged after the fact & served by mail. 2 years later, the court is moving forward with criminalizing us for defending the drinking water of millions and giving voice to the earth.

Aitkin County law enforcement later engaged in use of pain compliance and physical force on human beings that shocks the conscience. Severe lacerations from dragging young people out of a piece of Line 3 pipeline with ropes, later charging those same land defenders with assisting attempted suicide. Twisting the limbs of climbers over 25 feet in the air, dangling their bodies as they screamed.

When this photo was taken, the Sheriff had used pain compliance on climbers as they were suspended and walked over, asking what I wanted. With the wetlands around us, I said “I got here and you were torturing people.” He answered “I’m sorry about that.”

Total disregard of human life and well-being, to defend a fossil fuel project that disregards human life and well-being. Violence begets violence.

Ours are acts of love, of empathy and community with all living beings. We stand.

Learn how to show up (in-person/virtually) & support Line 3 defendants here.

#LandDefenders #ProtectTheSacred #Truth #Love #Resistance.

The link that Tara shares highlights:

Water protectors are currently facing criminal charges in Minnesota for standing in defense of the water, the climate, and the treaty rights of the Anishinaabeg people.

These individuals put their bodies on the line to stop Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline, a massive tar sands project that threatens the state’s lakes, rivers, aquifers and wild rice beds. Police forces – directly funded by Enbridge – have responded to this massive movement with surveillance, harassment, physical torture (“pain compliance”), and trumped-up charges, including felonies.

Signup to receive court information so that you can support Stop Line 3 defendants going through the court system, both in-person and virtually.

Peace Brigades International-Canada has signed up to support Stop Line 3 defendants and you can too by clicking here.

For more, please see: Ojibwe water protector Tara Houska on police violence paid for by Canadian pipeline company (August 13, 2021)

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