The six were released on bail yesterday in Douglas County, near Superior, as they protested pipeline construction from Canada based energy giant, Enbridge.
They’re part of groups camping out near construction of a new pipeline. That line would replace the aging “Line 3” pipeline, which starts in Northwest Wisconsin and runs through Minnesota and into Canada.
One protester had locked himself to a piece of heavy machinery at the site. Others, though, maintain they were practicing their right to protest peacefully.
Brandy Lynn Maxie was one of the six arrested. She’s from southeast Saskatchewan, Canada and line three runs through the reservation where she grew up.
“This is the first year I’m going to be able to go to my parents house and brush my teeth with their water,” Maxie says. “In my 34 years of life I’ve never been able to do that on the reserve, so I know first hand what this industry brings when people are fighting for clean water. I know it, because it’s been a life-long fight.”
She says she was wrongfully arrested and is maintaining her innocence. Before her arrest, Maxie says she was speaking with an Enbridge employee, a conversation she says was going smoothly.
Maxie is “trying to count the blessings in disguise.” She says her arrest has drawn support for their fight for clean water, and against “Line 3.”
Maxie describes her struggle as not simply being against line three, but against the construction of pipelines and the use of fossil fuels in general.
She says now is the time to invest in renewable energy.
“People are sick of the industries that are poisoning our water,” Maxie says. “It’s not one particular pipeline.”
The new line is replacing a 50-year-old pipeline, and would stretch 340 miles across Minnesota.