Tell Gov. Walz: Appoint Attorney General Ellison as special prosecutor for the most egregious cases against water protectors
Hundreds of peaceful water protectors are currently facing thousands of criminal charges in Minnesota for standing in defense of the water, the climate, and the treaty rights of Anishinaabeg people.
We call on the Walz-Flanagan Administration to appoint Attorney General Keith Ellison as special prosecutor for water protectors facing trumped-up charges – including "felony theft," "felony attempted assisted suicide," and "conspiring, aiding and abetting" – and inconsistent, unjust plea offers from the State.
Under Minnesota Statute 8.01, Governor Tim Walz has the authority to appoint Attorney General Ellison to oversee these cases. Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan stated her opposition to Enbridge's Line 3 tar sands pipeline expansion and should use her influence to support those who took significant risks to stop its destructive path.
Water protectors put their bodies on the line to stop Line 3. Police forces – funded by Enbridge – responded to this movement with surveillance, harassment, "pain compliance" torture, and exaggerated criminal charges. Those who defended water must now defend themselves. Some may be crushed with fines over $3 million or jail time over a decade.
At the same time, Enbridge committed multiple felonies against the water by violating construction permits, piercing multiple aquifers, and polluting pristine rivers. In this time of climate catastrophe, Governor Walz must listen to water protectors instead of criminalizing and prosecuting them.
It is hypocritical and morally wrong for the Walz-Flanagan Administration to stand idly by as folks from all walks of life face criminal charges for defending the drinking water of millions, standing up for treaty rights and all life.
Send a letter to the Walz Administration today to tell them: Appoint AG Ellison as special prosecutor for the most egregious cases against water protectors.
Note: By sending a letter, your name will also be added to a petition that will be delivered once we hit 100,000+ signatures.
Photo by Ron Turney