Activists are Protesting a Pipeline. A DHS Helicopter Blasted Them With Debris.

Anti-pipeline protestors outside the state capitol in St. Paul, Minnesota in MarchTim Evans/NurPhoto/Zuma

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

In an apparent attempt to disperse a crowd of people protesting the construction of an oil pipeline in Minnesota, a Department of Homeland Security helicopter hovered above protesters yesterday, showering them with dust and debris.

Authorities denied that the dust storm was intentional and claimed that the helicopter had been sent to order the crowd to disperse, the Intercept reports. Still, low-flying helicopters are a common police tactic to intimidate protestors.

The demonstrators were engaging in civil disobedience against the construction of an oil pipeline that threatens to contaminate Mississippi River headwaters on Ojibwe tribal lands. Enbridge, the Canadian company building the pipeline, says new construction is necessary to replace the existing leaky and corroded crude oil pipeline. But the new pipeline will follow a different route, which activists say could harm the wild rice, sacred to the Ojibwe, grown in the area. (A spokesperson for the company also chided protesters for trespassing to the Intercept, comparing it to the attack on the Capitol on January 6.)

The protestors are also calling on President Biden to stop the construction of the pipeline, which mostly replaces an existing pipeline, as he did the Keystone XL pipeline his first week in office. Nevertheless, construction has continued, and the pipeline is more than halfway completed.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate