A large group of Line 3 protestors, still outside the State Capitol after days of anti-pipeline demonstrations, was met by a large contingent of state troopers Friday, leading to a handful of arrests.
Indigenous water protectors and allies descended upon St. Paul for this week, calling on Gov. Tim Walz and President Joe Biden to immediately halt the construction of Enbridge's replacement pipeline in northern Minnesota. The group argues the pipeline violates existing treaties with indigenous groups, will contribute to the worsening climate crisis and poses a threat to Minnesota's wetlands and wild rice beds, if there were to be a leak.
The pipeline protesters erected tipis across the Capitol lawn, and on Wednesday held a Treaties Not Tar Sands rally.
When the permit for the event expired Thursday, not everyone left. Some stayed outside the Capitol, in and around a lone, remaining tipi through the night and into Friday.
That morning, a large contingent of troopers with the Minnesota State Patrol (the agency charged with Capitol security) surrounded the protesters still on the scene. Resist Line 3 estimated the number of troopers at 200 or more.
In video from the scene posted by RootsAction around 11:19 a.m., a State Patrol officer can be heard over a megaphone or speaker, saying the event's permit expired Thursday night and telling everyone they need to leave the "cordoned off area" so they could prepare for additional public events coming up this weekend.
More video shared by the group Honor the Earth shows one protestor being carried away by three state troopers.
A spokesperson for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said the State Patrol met with demonstration leaders and tribal liaisons "in an effort to come to an agreement for the group to voluntarily take the [tipi] down"
"Troopers also informed the group that several other permitted events will occur at the capitol tomorrow," the spokesperson said.
State troopers arrested four people for misdemeanor trespassing, the spokesperson added, and cited and released two others for obstruction. The tipi that had been standing Friday was taken down "by its owners" while state troopers were on the scene, the spokesperson said.
The Resist Line 3 Twitter account, shortly after 1:30 p.m., said troopers were leaving the scene, with an agreement for the ceremony to continue taking place at a different location.
Officials had put up a security fence around the Capitol building in anticipation of the Line 3 demonstrations as well as an anti-mask rally and a voting rights march Saturday.