Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Climate Action Held in Franklin, July 17

The 350 Mass Greater Franklin Node held a protest Saturday, July 17, in front of the Bank of America branch in Franklin. The intent was to educate the public and demand that the bank stop funding Line 3, the tars sands pipeline being constructed in MN through tribal lands and hundreds of waterways including the Mississippi River headwaters. 350 Mass is demanding that the banks financing this project must  defund Line 3, or face pressure from activists and consumers to defund these banks! (The Burma Shave signs can be read in either direction to accommodate the traffic direction.)
As Franklin resident and longtime 350 Mass member Ray Milici pointed out, "Line 3 does not just affect Minnesota, but the entire world. Even in Franklin, Mass. If we continue to invest in projects that burn fossil fuels, we will continue to destroy our planet and experience a worsening climate crisis. If there is no money, there is no pipeline. It's that simple. If the banks don't stop their funding, 350 Mass will continue to encourage bank customers and investors to withdraw their accounts and investments from the supporting banks."

Line 3 is a proposed pipeline expansion to bring nearly a million barrels of tar sands oil per day from Alberta, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin. It was proposed in 2014 by Enbridge, a Canadian pipeline company responsible for the largest inland oil spill in the US. Enbridge seeks to build a new pipeline corridor through untouched wetlands and the treaty territory of Anishinaabe peoples, through the Mississippi River headwaters to the shore of Lake Superior.

Carolyn Barthel, Co-coordinator for the Greater Franklin node, highlighted, "All pipelines spill. Line 3 isn't about safe transportation of a necessary product, it's about expansion of a dying tar sands industry." Line 3 would contribute more to climate change than Minnesota's entire economy. Minnesota's own Department of Commerce found their local fuel market does not need Line 3 oil. Climate organizations are demanding the old Line 3 be decommissioned to help in the transition to a renewable, sustainable economy.  Barthel further explains, "Line 3 would violate the treaty rights of Anishinaabe peoples and nations in its path — wild rice is a critical part of Anishinaabe culture, it grows in numerous watersheds Line 3 seeks to cross. It's well past time to end the legacy of theft from and destruction of indigenous peoples and territories." 

350 Mass, a statewide grassroots climate organization, engages members in many ways on multiple levels--municipal, state and national. Ralph Halpern, Node Co-coordinator, explained regarding the focus on Line 3, "We will keep organizing, educating, and advocating to stop Line 3 and build the future we want. Legal and grassroots efforts have kept Enbridge's Line 3 destruction at bay--it was supposed to be completed in 2017." He goes on to say, "Our advocacy and outreach activities include holding events in community centers, churches, and schools. We present webinars, meet and talk to our politicians, speak up at hearings, march in protests, and help towns take local actions to become more sustainable. We teach and learn from each other. Wherever you are and whatever your skill set, there is a place for you in the movement."
Climate Action Held in Franklin, July 17
Climate Action Held in Franklin, July 17


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