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Minnesota troopers arrest 69 protesting Line 3 pipeline outside the governor's mansion

Group moved their protest to the Governor’s Residence on Summit Avenue after being removed from the Capitol grounds Friday.

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Indigenous elders stand at the front of the crowd gathered for the Treaties not Tar Sands rally at the Minnesota State Capitol on Wednesday, Aug. 25. Evan Frost / MPR News

ST. PAUL — Minnesota state troopers on Saturday, Aug. 28, arrested 69 people protesting Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 replacement pipeline project in front of the Governor’s Residence in St. Paul.

The group moved their protest to the residence on Summit Avenue after being told to remove rally structures from the Capitol grounds Friday after their event permit expired Thursday evening. Four people were arrested there.

The demonstrators, who are part of a series of events called Treaties over Tar Sands, are calling for Gov. Tim Walz and President Joe Biden to pull permits and shut down the replacement pipeline project. Line 3 carries oil from Canada and passes through North Dakota and northern Minnesota on its way to Superior, Wisconsin The 337-mile segment in Minnesota is the last phase in replacing the deteriorating pipeline.

Indigenous and environmental activists say the project violates Native American treaty rights and will aggravate climate change and risk contamination from spills.

The group was asked to leave multiple times by Minnesota State Patrol officers, who cited that the gathering was illegal. Several buses were brought in to remove protesters from the street.

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“Dispersal orders to those in the street were given multiple times during and after police moved to arrest those who were either locked to the fence or were blocking access to those who were locked to the fence,” said Bruce Gordon, spokesman for the Minnesota State Patrol. “Those people chose to stay rather than follow the lawful order, which led to some of them being arrested.”

Those arrested face various charges including disorderly conduct, third-degree riot and felony threats of violence. They were all booked into the Ramsey County Jail.

“If you swarm someone’s home, chain yourself to the fence and pull on the gate in an attempt to tear it down, you should expect to be arrested,” said Col. Matt Langer, chief of the Minnesota State Patrol.

There were no reported injuries and no use of chemical or less-lethal munitions.

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