City of Madison Unanimously Passes Resolution Opposing Enbridge Lines 3 and 5

July 20, 2021 by Rebecca Kemble

Tonight the Common Council of the City of Madison, Wisconsin passed the resolution “Supporting Clean Water and Treaty Rights” that opposes the construction of Enbridge’s tar sands pipeline Line 3 in Minnesota and the Line 5 reroute in northern Wisconsin. These pipelines that pass through the homelands of Anishinaabe Tribes who have legally established rights to hunt, fish and gather reserved by treaties with the U.S. Government threaten the basis of Native sovereignty and economic self-determination.

Enbridge Holding Us Hostage by William J. Krupinski

The resolution calls on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to reject Enbridge’s permit application to build a new section of Line 5 that would pass under over 100 bodies of water in the Bad River watershed, threatening the Kakagon and Bad River sloughs, home to the largest wild rice beds on Lake Superior.

Acknowledging the need to halt fossil fuel production to avoid climate catastrophe in line with the Paris Accord and local carbon reduction goals, the resolution also calls on elected officials at all levels to take whatever actions they can to stop the pipelines.

Finally, the resolution orders the Madison Chief of Police to reject any request for mutual aid by another law enforcement agency for the purpose of protecting Enbridge property along Lines 3 or 5 or for suppressing resistance to Enbridge’s activities along Lines 3 or 5.

The Dane County Board of Supervisors will take up a similar resolution at their upcoming meeting on Thursday, July 22.

During the Council meeting MPD Chief Shon Barnes said he would never respond positively to such a request and that an order wasn’t necessary. But Alders explained that the order was an important message of solidarity to send to water protectors and those living on the front lines whose homelands are threatened by the pipelines, and that clear direction should be given in public to law enforcement for all to understand.

In September 2016 the Madison Common Council unanimously passed a resolution “Expressing Solidarity with Indigenous Resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline.” The following month the Sheriff of Dane County of which Madison is the county seat sent 13 officers to North Dakota to suppress dissent. After widespread community outcry Sheriff Mahoney recalled his troops.

Since the beginning of 2021 more than 500 arrests have been made on Line 3. Minnesota law enforcement has been planning counterinsurgency actions for several years with the establishment of the Northern Lights Task Force. One condition of Enbridge’s construction permit required by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission was to deposit millions of dollars into a fund to reimburse law enforcement agencies for their services on Line 3, turning public law enforcement agencies into de-facto private security firms for Enbridge. With the passage of this resolution, the Madison Common Council strongly rejects any such use of their police department.

Yesterday local Indigenous leaders led a press conference in support of the resolution. They spoke about their relationships to the land and the history of those who have called this place home for thousands of years. As those whose lives and homelands are most directly affected by the pipelines, they stressed the importance of consulting with members of the Native community when organizing Line 3 and Line 5 solidarity actions.

giige collective co-founder nibiiwakamigkwe addresses the media and community supporters as Michael Gilpin, Shadayra Kilfoy-Flores, and nipinet look on. Screenshot from Honor the Earth live-feed

In Madison the giige collective is organizing support for some of the Line 3 camps with which they are in direct contact. Those interested in donating funds can do so at their PayPal account. They also travel to and from camps and can take donated items. Contact them at for more information.

3 Comments on “City of Madison Unanimously Passes Resolution Opposing Enbridge Lines 3 and 5”

  1. Shadayra July 20, 2021 at 11:59 pm #

    Thank you Rebecca❣

    • wcmcoop July 21, 2021 at 9:37 am #

      Thank you for your leadership!

  2. Susan R Nelson Venzke July 22, 2021 at 11:28 pm #

    YES, YES, YES,…………..

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