Members and friends of Philly Water Protectors, an environmental justice group, gathered July 16 outside a TD Bank in Philadelphia’s Center City. TD Bank loaned Enbridge $10.8 billion for a pipeline project that threatens 200 bodies of water, including the Mississippi River’s headwaters, and imperils Indigenous sites, waters and lands.
With their artwork, posters, banners and musical instruments, demonstrators expressed their opposition to TD Bank for funding the Enbridge Line 3 tar-sands oil pipeline. This 340-mile-long conduit would transport 750,000 barrels of tar sands a day from Alberta, Canada, through untouched wetlands in northern Minnesota to Superior, Wis.
This pipeline directly endangers the lands, heritage, sacred sites and treaty rights of the Anishinaabe peoples in Minnesota. It imperils their celebrated, age-old, traditional wild rice beds; wild rice is a centerpiece of Anishnaabe culture, and Line 3 is slated to cross multiple watersheds where it grows. (stopline3.org) Line 3 is being constructed through their lands without their consent.
Three Anishnaabe communities, backed by their environmentalist allies have carried out direct action protests against the construction of the pipeline. More than 500 protesters have been arrested in Minnesota along the Line 3 route. Over 200 celebrities and activists have called on President Joe Biden to cancel the federal permits for Line 3’s construction. However, his administration filed court documents in late June indicating he would not do so.
The July 16 protest was part of a nationwide week of actions organized by Stop the Money Pipeline and NDN Collective, demanding Wall Street banks stop funding Enbridge, the Canadian-based company behind Line 3’s construction. If built, the pipeline would release as much greenhouse gas into the atmosphere as 50 new coal-fired power plants.
— Report and photo by Joe Piette