A delegation of representatives from six countries of America, representing Black and Indigenous communities and organizations belonging to the Black and Indigenous Liberation Movement (BILM) joined the Anishinaabe Nation and other Indigenous Peoples under the United States to demand that Enbridge Corporation stop the construction of the Line 3 oil pipeline, as well as all extractivist, racists, and colonial projects that violate their rights, territories and culture.
August 19, Minneapolis, USA. Between August 18 to 21, a delegation composed of representatives from social movements and Indigenous and Black communities from Canada, United States, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Chile and Ecuador; members of BILM; joined the communities of the Anishinaabe Nation and other Peoples of the United States to demand the suspension of Canadian oil company, Enbridge’s project, which plans to build Line 3, one of the largest crude oil transportation pipelines in the United States.
The BILM delegation of representatives demands the end of the colonial-extractivist model endangering the life of Indigenous Peoples and Black communities. Line 3 and other extractivist projects that are being implemented throughout the American continents negatively affect Indigenous Peoples violating their rights, territories, and culture; endangering especially biodiversity, water sources, and other vital resources for humanity; and also contributing to the environmental problems that affect the planet.
“The Anishinaabe People’s struggle against climate change is critical not only for them but for the entire planet. This struggle is particularly important for Black and Indigenous Peoples across the Americas for how it can unite us…and our communities must unite to stop the destruction of our planet, our territories and our own bodies.” Mike Bento, representative from New York City Shut It Down.
Line 3 is a project aiming to expand the pipeline that begins in Alberta, Canada and ends in Wisconsin, US, to transport almost a million barrels of oil per day. This project was proposed in 2014 by Enbridge, a Canadian oil company, responsible for the largest oil spill inside the US. Enbridge seeks to build a new oil pipeline corridor that will cross pristine wetlands and the territory of the Anishinaabe Peoples’ treaty lands through the headwaters of the Mississippi river up to the river banks of Lake Superior.
This is a time for mutual solidarity against racial capitalism, the carceral state, extractivism, patriarchy, and mass displacement. We are here to stand in solidarity with our relatives because there is no Climate Justice without Racial Justice.
“This is a time for mutual solidarity against racial capitalism, the carceral state, extractivism, patriarchy, and mass displacement. We are here to stand in solidarity with our relatives because there is no Climate Justice without Racial Justice.
Our fight to end centuries of colonization requires us to work together, to organize across borders and across languages in order to achieve liberation and self determination for our peoples across the hemisphere“, expressed Leo Cerda, founding member of the BILM Movement, and a member of the Kichwa indigenous people.
The State of Minnesota’s Environmental Impact Statement for Line 3 recognizes that the project will have “disproportionate and adverse impacts” on Native Peoples (Section 11.5), meaning this project does not comply with the basic environmental standard or the approved safeguards for recognized Indigenous territories. The construction of this pipeline is an act of environmental racism.
Amin Matias, member of the Dominican Afrodescendant Network, said that “Indigenous peoples, local communities and Black Peoples must resist against a development model that threatens our lives and the planet. We are here to condemn extractivism and fight against the structural racism that Black and Indigenous Peoples experience.”
The implementation plan for the Line 3 project will go through not only Anishinaabe territory, but also the territory of others, such as Dakota and Lakota Peoples. The establishment of this project would violate the Anishinaabe people and nation in its pathway, endangering the flora and fauna, pristine wetlands as well as the culture and the sovereignty of these indigenous Peoples.
Teresa de Jesús Mojica Morga, Coordinator of the Network of Afro-Latin American, Afro-Caribbean and Diaspora Women-Mexico Chapter, stated that
“Solidarity among Indigenous and Black Peoples strengthens our struggle against extractivism and the abuse of the great economic powers promoting Line 3 in Minnesota, as well as in many other territories. Indigenous Peoples protect nature to preserve the planet for all humanity”.
As for Rosa Marina Flores Cruz, an Black-Indigenous Binnizá woman from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, Mexico, and member of the Indigenous Peoples’ Assembly of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory, declared:
“We are here to make a common front. In the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Oaxaca, Mexico, we are facing mega wind energy projects, which is renewable energy, but also projects to establish gas pipelines, and paradoxically, both types of projects follow the same logic of dispossession and appropriation of our territories”.
The consequences of the extractivist activities in both North America and Latin America are reflected in the impact on the territories, biodiversity, forests, soil, water, and the air quality which above all affect the population living there, for example, the case of Texaco in the Ecuadorian Amazon, a company that during its extraction period (between 1960 and 1992) produced 68 million cubic meters of wastewater filled with heavy metals and carcinogens, affecting the Siona, Secoya and Cofán Indigenous Peoples for several generations.
“Indigenous Peoples have to stop the expansion of extractive industries. Line 3 is intended to transport crude oil, but in my territory, in the Kichwa community of Serena, in the Amazon jungles of Ecuador, they want to set up mining concessions not authorized by us, the Indigenous Peoples,” said Majo Andrade Cerda, an Indigenous person from the Kichwa community of Serena, in the Ecuadorian Amazon.
The Black and Indigenous Liberation Movement (BILM) is a coalition of collectives, peoples, grassroots organizations and social movements from across the Americas. It was born in 2020 to support struggles against racism, discrimination, violence, colonialism and the ravages of racial capitalism. The movement seeks to unite all the voices of the continent and establish a solidarity action network that allows us to raise awareness of the demands of each community and territory so that together we can fight the inequality and injustice experienced by Indigenous Peoples and Black communities. More info
Established in 1990, The Indigenous Environmental Network is an international environmental justice nonprofit that works with tribal grassroots organizations to build the capacity of Indigenous communities. IEN’s activities include empowering Indigenous communities and tribal governments to develop mechanisms to protect our sacred sites, land, water, air, natural resources, the health of both our people and all living things, and to build economically sustainable communities.
Learn more here: ienearth.org