Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Lakeland News 

Rally for Water Protectors Charged for Line 3 Protests Held in Aitkin County


February 27, 2023

Winona LaDuke, founder of Indigenous environmental group Honor the Earth, appeared in Aitkin County Court on Friday on charges related to protests of the Line 3 oil pipeline.

LaDuke is currently facing seven misdemeanor charges, including trespassing, unlawful assembly, and public nuisance. All are in connection with demonstrations that occurred during the construction of Enbridge Energy's Line 3 pipeline two years ago.

Despite the cold, dozens came to rally outside the courthouse in support of LaDuke. Guests gathered around 8:30 in the morning for coffee and breakfast, and they held up signs before heading to the hearings.

Inside the courthouse, LaDuke took the stand, where she defended her right to be on public land, a topic that was discussed outside as well.

"We call ourselves protectors, specifically, some say water protectors, some say land defenders, earth defenders, right defenders, treaty right – defending our treaty rights, so yeah, every right to be on public land within our treaty territories," said water protector Dawn Goodwin. "I would only hope we pray that they're gonna drop the charges or find her not guilty because we have every right to protect our lands and our waters."

No verdict was made Friday on the charges against LaDuke. There are several other water protectors also charged with similar misdemeanors who are awaiting their hearing dates.


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