Condemning “the imminent and irreversible damage being done to the climate” by fossil fuel extraction, four Catholic Workers took non-violent action to help stem the climate crisis on Monday in northern Minnesota, shutting off valves at Enbridge Energy Lines 3 and 4.
Allyson Polman, Brenna Cussen Anglada, Michele Naar Obed, and Daniel Yildirim were identified as the Four Necessity Valve Turners who shut off the valves. They took the action to protest the pipelines which cut through Native American reservations and jeopardize fresh water resources in the region, as well as perpetuating an energy economy reliant on fossil fuels.
“The group acts in solidarity with the most vulnerable worldwide who suffer the greatest impact from climate change,” said the group in a press statement. “The Four Necessity Valve Turners believe it is time to take personal responsibility for preventing the dangerous expansion of the oil industry, because governments and regulators have failed to do so.”
“This act is step towards reparations for the damage that colonization has done both to the indigenous peoples of this continent and the land,” said Cussen Anglada.
The group shared a video on Facebook of the action. The demonstrators shut off the valves at about 10 minutes into the video:
The group displayed a sign reading, “The time is now for unprecedented and urgent action,” at the site where they shut off the valves.
The Four Necessity Valve Turners took the action despite recent reports that police in Minnesota are planning to target anti-pipeline organizers, preparing for a militarized standoff like the one that took place at Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota in 2016.
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