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Michele is led away by multiple law enforcement personnel, all heavily bundled and masked against the cold and covid, while activists continue to protest in the background.
Michele is led away by multiple law enforcement personnel, all heavily bundled and masked against the cold and covid, while activists continue to protest in the background.

Today, Michele Naar Obed, Four Necessity Valve Turner, was arrested along with other Stop Line 3 Water Protectors. We are grateful for her witness and for the continuing support network that is necessary to sustain protest and hospitality which are equal parts of the Catholic Worker and water protector camp traditions.


If you ascribe to a prayer tradition, please keep Michele, the water protectors, and our Great Lakes watershed in your prayers.


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Happy New Year to all!


It's been some months since we learned that the felony charges would be dropped for the Four Necessity Valve Turners, and that the misdemeanor court proceedings would be delayed due to the pandemic. That news was, in a way, an ending of this group that had travelled together spiritually for some time, and made email updates and online presence less urgent.



However, recently we've begun to see others taking decisive action in the region where the Four Necessity action occurred, and so we wanted to connect you to this new and courageous activism that shares much of the same spirit of the action taken in 2018. Brenna, Michele, and some others have joined in the work in different ways, as Brenna relates below:




Dear Friends,

Thanks to your prayers and support, I (Brenna) have been able to work with the Hildegard House CW in Duluth, MN in supporting one of the Indigenous women-led water protector camps in Northern Minnesota. Those at the camp seek to protect our precious water from the destruction that Enbridge Energy's Line 3 project has already begun. They also work closely with MMIW (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women), as projects like these put Indigenous women and girls at great risk of sexual trafficking and predation.

For the past several weeks, Hildegard House (Michele and Greg Obed) has organized to maintain a daily presence of one or more Catholic Workers from various communities to be at the camp to pray, to work, and to resist! We have offered support in the kitchen, and have joined in the prayerful presence of the Indigenous leaders and others who are coming to join them.


The resistance from water protectors here takes various forms - from prayer around a fire or at the Mississippi River, to sitting directly across from the Enbridge construction (destruction) site to act as witnesses, to marching in the streets, to celebrating the Solstice with music and dance, to nonviolently interrupting the work of the machines. The camp has no lack of work - shoveling snow, cooking, building warm shelters, organizing donations, etc. Beautiful people of all ages and backgrounds are putting themselves at risk by standing in the way of a destructive project, standing up for the water, and standing up for what is right.


To summarize what I recently heard Indigenous leaders Tara Houska and Taysha Martineau say, for many Indigenous water protectors who call this area home, they are standing up for their lives, and for their own ability to have clean water - theirs is not a choice.


Native Nations such as White Earth and Mille Lacs, along with other environmental organizations, have been steadfast in opposing Enbridge's illegal actions in the court. Water protectors are hoping that such a multi-faceted approach of resistance in courts and on the ground will ultimately lead to justice. But that is far from guaranteed.



For a good run-down of the facts and injustice of the project, read author Louise Erdrich's opinion piece in the New York Times.


I also encourage you to check the following websites for updates and ways to support the camps:

www.stopline3.org

www.welcomewaterprotectors.com

or follow on Facebook:

Giniw Collective Facebook Page


Feel free to email with questions about further ways to support or join the struggle.


In Peace,

Brenna

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Please sign up to watch the documentary "Necessity" and attend the online panel discussion on September 27, 7-8:15 pm CDT. Tickets are $15, benefiting the Climate Defense Project, a nonprofit organization providing legal and intellectual support to the climate movement through legal representation, public education, and rights training. CDP has been a leading advocate of the necessity defense, including as a supporter of the "valve turners" who on successive occasions have turned off Enbridge tar sands pipelines in Minnesota.  


Catholic Worker, Michele Naar-Obed from Hildegard House CW will be part of the panel talking about the Four Necessity Valve Turners action. We hope you can join us!


Registration Link:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/necessity-documentary-screening-climate-defense-project-fundraiser-tickets-119548311217?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch

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