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Article

5 Oct 2021

Author:
Hilary Beaumont, The Guardian

Enbridge paid Minnesota police for arresting & surveilling protesters of its Line 3 pipeline; incl. co. comment

"Revealed: pipeline company paid Minnesota police for arresting and surveilling protesters," 5 Oct. 2021

The Canadian company Enbridge has reimbursed US police $2.4m for arresting and surveilling hundreds of demonstrators who oppose construction of its Line 3 pipeline, according to documents the Guardian obtained through a public records request. Enbridge has paid for officer training, police surveillance of demonstrators, officer wages, overtime, benefits, meals, hotels and equipment.

... Enbridge told the Guardian an independent account manager allocates the funds, and police decide when protesters are breaking the law. But records obtained by the Guardian show the company meets daily with police to discuss intelligence gathering and patrols. And when Enbridge wants protesters removed, it calls police or sends letters.

“Our police are beholden to a foreign company,” Tara Houska, founder of the Indigenous frontline group Giniw Collective, told the Guardian. “They are working hand in hand with big oil. They are actively working for a company. Their duty is owed to the state of Minnesota and to the tribal citizens of Minnesota. ... It’s a very clear violation of the public’s trust,” she added.

... Asked if the company is directing police, an Enbridge spokesperson, Michael Barnes, wrote in an email: “Officers decide when protesters are breaking the law – or putting themselves and others in danger.”

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