St. Paul protest marks Kalamazoo oil spill, opposes Line 3
Saint Paul, MN – On Saturday, July 23, roughly 30 climate activists gathered outside the Saint Paul Farmers’ Market to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the Kalamazoo oil spill and demand a stop to Line 3, a new tar sands pipeline. The action was organized by the Climate Justice Committee (CJC).
The Kalamazoo oil spill occurred on July 26, 2010 and was one of the largest in U.S. history. Spills and accidents happen regularly from oil pipelines. Between 2010 and 2020 alone, the U.S. and Canada had a combined 3398 pipeline spills.
B Becker from the Climate Justice Committee opened the protest, stating, “Enbridge is responsible for the Kalamazoo oil spill that leaves the Kalamazoo River poisoned to this day. Enbridge is also responsible for the two largest inland oil spills, both in Minnesota. We cannot allow corporate greed to destroy our waterways. We cannot allow Enbridge to poison the Mississippi like they did the Kalamazoo River.”
“This is like being forced to ride the Titanic while getting told it's unsinkable,” said Diana Hernandez of the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee. Autumn Lake from the Anti War committee pointed out the role of the U.S. military to the ongoing drive for fossil fuels and environmental degradation.
“What do we want? Stop Line 3! When do we want it? Now!” chants could be heard by the hundreds of people at the farmers market.
Several speakers and chants connected the struggle against Line 3 with the demands for Native sovereignty and the need to defend and uphold treaty rights over land and water resources.
Steve Sandberg from the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute told the crowd about the role of environmental racism against oppressed nationality communities and the ongoing fight for an urban farm in the East Phillips neighborhood.
This action was part of the CJC's campaign to demand that the Army Corps of Engineers perform a full federal environmental impact survey on Line 3 and pull its operating permits. You can sign their petition online: