Arrests Made After Protesters Continue to Disrupt
December 22, 2020
December 18, 2020 (JACOBSON) - Over the past two weeks, demonstrations and protests have sprung up between Jacobson and Palisade, Minnesota as a result of those opposing the replacement and building of an Enbridge Line 3 across northern Minnesota.
On the afternoon of December 14, 2020, law enforcement officials were on the 59000 block of
Great River Road in Jacobson, Minnesota as a result of a protest. Numerous individuals went into an area posted “No Trespassing” in accordance with State Law. Along with the protesters on the ground, there was also an adult male protestor who had been staying up in a hasty tree platform since December 4th. Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office had been working with a group of his supporters to ensure the safety of the man in the tree and even made sure that necessities were delivered to him.
On the morning of December 14th, the Sheriff’s Office was on the scene and received a report of the Enbridge leased right of way being blocked by a cable. Upon arrival, Sheriff Dan Guida observed that someone had fastened a rope to block the right of way. Another line had been connected to that line and was secured above the tree occupant’s platform. This helped support the platform and individual. “The situation required a response to protect the person’s life as one mistake could have caused the apparatus, and individual in the tree, to fall 30 feet to the frozen ground” Sheriff Guida stated. After several unsuccessful attempts to have the person come down on his own, a bucket truck was brought in to bring this man down safely.
Approximately 50 protesters remained blocking the right of way. They were asked to leave and then ordered to leave. They refused. Dispersal orders were given and most of the people left the area. After multiple additional dispersal orders were given, officers walked around the group and secured a perimeter.
As Sheriff Guida rode up in the bucket to the elevated platform, several individuals rushed from the woods nearby and attempted to shut the truck’s operation down. Three were immediately arrested. One carried a sleeping dragon device, a device often used to secure a person to an object. These devices are often used by protesters in an attempt to obstruct law enforcement. Another group encroached the line and were again told to leave. When they refused to do so, they were arrested.
The tree occupant advised he was ready to come down and cooperated fully with law enforcement. The temperature at that time was negative 6 degrees.
In total, 22 people were arrested and booked into the Aitkin County Adult Detention Center on Probable
Cause Trespassing and Unlawful Assembly. One individual was booked on Probable Cause
Obstructing the Legal process with Force and 4th Degree Assault.
Of those arrested, 4 were from northern Minnesota, 13 were from the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area, and 5 were from out of state. None were from Aitkin County.
On December 15th, all of the detained people, except one, were issued tab charge citations and
were released from custody with the promise to appear in Court.
On December 16th, the final arrested party was issued a Gross Misdemeanor formal complaint and released on conditions, to include, no returning to pipeline construction zones.
The Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office is working in conjunction with other sheriff’s offices and
state and tribal assets during the construction of this pipeline. Their work is best summed up
by their mission statement: “To provide a safe environment that protects life, property, and
free speech through a respectful approach by well trained, disciplined peace officers relating to
the lawful activities conducted by those who wish to exercise their First Amendment rights in