More than 20 Line 3 pipeline protesters were arrested on Thursday in Hubbard County.
According to a news release from the Northern Lights Task Force, the Hubbard County Sheriff's Office received a report of roughly 30 protesters standing on the side of U.S. Highway 71 at an Enbridge pipeline crossing in Lake Alice Township.
When officers arrived, they found "numerous" vehicles parked on the side of the highway, as well as a crowd of protesters on the edge of the highway and about 20 protesters on private property within the pipeline easement.
A dispersal order was given to those on the highway and those on private property. Some people complied with the orders and left. The people who stayed were "locked together in a circle and were surrounding other protesters who also refused to leave the area," the release says.
Officers from Hubbard and Beltrami counties "removed the individuals from the lockdown apparatuses" and arrested them.
In total, 26 people were arrested on charges that include trespassing, unlawful assembly, obstructing the legal process and public nuisance.
Eight people who were arrested are from Minnesota (five from Minneapolis, one from Chisago City, one from Red Wing and one from Detroit Lakes). Everyone else is from out of state, including one from Boulder, Colorado; one from Brooklyn, New York; one from Springfield, Virginia; one from Grand Rapids, Michigan; one from Baltimore, Maryland; one from Monterey, Massachusetts; one from Salt Lake City, Utah; one from Tukwila, Virginia; one from Williamsburg, Virginia; one from Springfield, Virginia; one from Macomb, Illinois; and one from New Orleans, Louisiana.
Everyone arrested was brought to the Hubbard County Jail and are awaiting arraignment.
Environmental activists and Indigenous people have long been fighting against the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline replacement project, which will replace its existing pipeline in northern Minnesota, connecting the tar sands in Canada to Superior, Wisconsin.
The project got the final permit needed to start construction in November, with construction getting underway at the end of 2020.
Proponents of the project, including Republican lawmakers, have touted the project's positive economic impact on the state and job creation, while opponents have challenged the project in court, citing the pipeline's impact on the environment and Native treaties.
Protests have been ongoing in the area for months, even drawing the attention of actress and environmental activist Jane Fonda. According to CNN earlier this month, protests surrounding the project have led to more than 130 arrests in recent months.
The Northern Lights Task Force is a group of sheriff’s departments made up to respond to Line 3 protests.