Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

August 1, 2021

Brutal arrests, tear gas, rubber bullets used on Water Protectors at Stop Line 3

Giniw Collective video on Facebook at

Urgent call to action
Water Protectors fighting Line 3 need your help!

Water Protectors at Stop Line 3 were brutally arrested by Sheriffs' deputies using excessive force, tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper bullets. Water Protectors now jailed in northern Minnesota are being denied medications and being fed moldy food, Giniw Collective said.

By GINIW Collective
Censored News
French translation by Christine Prat at:

"People were shot in their faces. I saw a young woman's head get split open right in front of me." -- said Native Attorney Tara Houska, shot with rubber bullets and jailed, told Democracy Now of brutal arrests by Sheriffs deputies in northern Minnesota.

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minnesota -- Water Protectors fighting Line 3 are enduring increased repression and violence from the state and local police. For the first time in this campaign, police used pepper spray, mace, pepper and "less than lethal" bullets on unarmed Water Protectors just south of Thief River Falls on July 29 at Red Lake River crossing at the Red Lake Treaty Camp.
Twenty people were arrested and are being held in Pennington County Jail over the weekend including Tara Houska, other members of Giniw and Non-Native Accomplices.

This is a call to action! Come Join us on the Frontlines. We need warriors to the front! Enbridge is drilling under the rivers and using the local police to target people wanting to stop this immoral and unethical project. Call Pennington County Jail (218)681-6161.

After facing excessive force in the form of pepper spray, pepper bullets and aggressive arrests supporters are now learning that water protectors have been denied medications as well as proper food due to dietary restrictions and allergies. People have received moldy and inedible food. Certain Individuals are being held in solitary confinement. These tactics are being utilized to humiliate and punish Water Protectors for taking action.

Tweet @govtimwalz @ltgovflanagan and call Pennington County Jail (218)681-6161 and demand: Sample script: "I am calling today to demand that water protectors are treated humanely and fairly, that their dietary needs are respected and their medications be given properly."

Giniw Collective said on July 30:
THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minnesota -- Dozens of Water Protectors and Tribal Members Flow Into Line 3 Drilling Site Under Red Lake River met with “less-than-lethal” and chemical warfare yesterday, dozens of BIPOC water protectors and tribal members flowed into the drill pad on the Red River, where Enbridge is set to complete pullback against the will of Red Lake Nation. Half a dozen Indigenous and BIPOC water protectors scaled fences and others blockaded a gate into the site as allies helped hold space.

Water Protectors were maced, tear gassed, shot with rubber bullets, and pepper bullets.

The mass action comes as another spill was reported on the Mississippi River headwaters, where Enbridge has continued to drill despite a temporary halt buffer zone issued by White Earth Nation.

Last week, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, along with numerous representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers, met with two Anishinaabe nations, tribal representatives, and land defenders to tour portions of Line 3 construction, wild rice beds, and spill sites. The Army Corps and the White House remain silent.

“If those who can stop Line 3 will not take action, we will,” said Tara Houska, Couchiching First Nation Anishinaabe land defender. “This is our land, our wild rice, our culture, our future we are defending.Human beings are literally destroying life with our addiction to the status quo of over-consumption. We have to be brave. We have to stand strong. We have to try. Actions, not words.”

“I’m standing in opposition of industrial development of my treaty territory by a foreign corporation,” said John Shimek, Red Lake Nation. “An estimated 20 percent of the freshwater supply left on the planet exists in my treaty territory, it’s my obligation to protect it for my children and all future generations.”

Twenty people were arrested and are currently being held in Pennington county till Monday.


On Thursday, July 29th, four Water protectors locked down to machinery at an Enbridge worksite near Clearwater River to stop the drilling and destruction of Mother Earth in Anishinaabe treaty territory.
Enbridge has been pumping thousands of gallons of water to flush the pipe and dewatering entire lakes and streams.

An activist and their mother locked down together in solidarity with their Indigenous kin in an act of love and bravery. Two other young people locked down to machinery to shut down the work site. One water protector locked down near an active water pump that was pumping hundreds of gallons of water and overflowing onto them, as workers laughed nearby with no regard for their safety. A deputy from the Red Lake Sheriff came over and did nothing to stop the pump.

Sheriffs from all over Minnesota arrived at the scene showing once again that the police response to water protectors is excessive force against the struggle to stop line 3.
"I’m here in solidarity with my Indigenous and Black and Brown relatives, I’m an accomplice and if you want to be an accomplice you have to be here doing this work. You got to lock down, you gotta be taking action.

"I’m here not only as an ally, but as an accomplice, because I’m putting my body on the line. I’m putting myself to the machine."

"And here on the other side I have my mother, she’s sixty-eight years old and she’s out here. She’s doing this work because she cares and she’s an accomplice too, so I urge you, if you’re listening to this, please get out here, we need you. We need accomplices."

"Hi I’m the mother of an accomplice which is on the other side of this device, and I just want to say to all the mothers out there, if your child is involved in activism with regard to line 3, it would be really great if you could be here too, and show your support for your offspring and become an accomplice and a water protector, its really important work and I invite you to join."

Seven water protectors are still being held in Polk County jail facing misdemeanor charges, being kept over the long weekend in another display of elevating punitive measures against water protectors.


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