Green activists protest Line 3 by caravanning in their gas powered SUVs

"Water protectors" burned some fuel to protest Line 3, driving their SUVs to raise awareness for their cause.

Lakeland PBS/YouTube

A group of so-called “water protectors” drove their SUVs to protest the Line 3 oil pipeline last week.

The Enbridge Line 3 pipeline replacement project is an effort to replace an aging and increasingly unsafe oil pipeline with a newer, safer one, according to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. Various groups of green and Native rights activists oppose the project, citing concerns about the oil industry’s environmental impact and the relationship between Line 3 and Native land.

A group of these protestors who call themselves “water protectors,” organized by a group named “Honor the Earth,” recently took to the streets, driving their gas-powered vehicles along the approximate route of Line 3 on Feb. 5.

The caravan originated in Hill City, Minnesota, and continued along the route of the pipeline, reports Lakeland PBS. The station posted a video report to YouTube that shows about a dozen SUVs and other vehicles driving slowly in a caravan, honking their horns as they parade through the small town of Backus, Minnesota.

This is not the first anti-Line 3 protest, and Honor the Earth is not the only group organizing such events.

Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar recently visited a protest encampment constructed by a “2-spirit” led “collective” that has waylaid transportation of pipeline materials, blocked roads and taken other measures attempting to prevent work on Line 3.

Protestors locked themselves to barrels, blocking a road needed to build Line 3 on January 29. (Image source: Twitter/@GinowCollective)
Protestors locked themselves to barrels, blocking a road needed to build Line 3 on January 29. (Image source: Twitter/Giniw Collective)

However, not all Native people or green activists oppose the pipeline.

Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa reached a deal with Enbridge back in 2018. The Fond du Lac believe “the benefits [of the pipeline] to the band far exceed those of potential alternatives,” tribal council chairman Kevin Dupuis Sr. told MPR. “The agreement [between Fond du Lac and Enbridge] was the result of months of extensive consideration and strong advocacy on behalf of the band,” he added.

As for pro-pipeline green activists: Line 3 was not only approved but required by the Obama administration — which is hailed as especially pro-environment by groups like the League of Conservation Voters.

A map showing the route Line 3 will take. (Image source: Minnesota Public Utilities Commission)
A map showing the route Line 3 will take. (Image source: Minnesota Public Utilities Commission)