Itasca County, Minnesota – Today, Tuesday, February 5, four people calling themselves the “Four Necessity Valve turners” shut down Enbridge’s Line 3 and Line 4 tar sands oil pipelines near Grand Rapids, in northern Minnesota, citing, “imminent and irreversible damage being done to the planet.” The activists entered pipeline service locations and advised Enbridge of their intention to stop the flow of oil by shutting down the safety valves. Enbridge eventually manually shut down both the Line 3 and 4 tar sands pipelines. The ‘four necessity valve turners’ identified themselves as Catholic Workers and farmers and said they wanted to defend life against the fossil fuel “industry that benefits the few in the expense of all life.”
The four arrested are: Allyson Polman – Catholic Worker, Denton, TX. Brenna Cussen Anglada – St. Isidore Catholic Worker Farm, Cuba City, WI. Michele Naar Obed – Hildegard House CW, Duluth, MN. and Daniel Yildirim – Evening Star Farm, Viroqua, WI.
The four documented their action in a live feed filled with prayer, song, and an encounter with law enforcement, with one officer who came on them with his gun drawn.
A live feed announcing the direct action began with a statement: “We’re inside the security fence for Enbridge pipelines 4 and 3. We are tying a banner, you can see the back of it, that says “the time is now for unprecedented urgent action.” We’re nonviolent. We’re four catholic workers and farmers who care about all life, in particular those who are most vulnerable. Including those that have been marginalized by mainstream society, and the Earth that has been marginalized by mainstream society.”
The Four Necessity Valve Turners are now in the Itasca County Jail, awaiting arraignment on Wednesday morning, February 6. Two misdemeanor charges – one for trespassing and one for property destruction – are anticipated. Additional charges may be forthcoming.
In a statement provided to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Enbridge said: “The actions taken to trespass on our facility and tamper with energy infrastructure were reckless and dangerous.”
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