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

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

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.

AN IMPORTANT UPDATE

We’re falling behind our online fundraising goals and we can’t sustain coming up short on donations month after month. Perhaps you’ve heard? It is impossibly hard in the news business right now, with layoffs intensifying and fancy new startups and funding going kaput.

The crisis facing journalism and democracy isn’t going away anytime soon. And neither is Mother Jones, our readers, or our unique way of doing in-depth reporting that exists to bring about change.

Which is exactly why, despite the challenges we face, we just took a big gulp and joined forces with The Center for Investigative Reporting, a team of ace journalists who create the amazing podcast and public radio show Reveal.

If you can part with even just a few bucks, please help us pick up the pace of donations. We simply can’t afford to keep falling behind on our fundraising targets month after month.

Editor-in-Chief Clara Jeffery said it well to our team recently, and that team 100 percent includes readers like you who make it all possible: “This is a year to prove that we can pull off this merger, grow our audiences and impact, attract more funding and keep growing. More broadly, it’s a year when the very future of both journalism and democracy is on the line. We have to go for every important story, every reader/listener/viewer, and leave it all on the field. I’m very proud of all the hard work that’s gotten us to this moment, and confident that we can meet it.”

Let’s do this. If you can right now, please support Mother Jones and investigative journalism with an urgently needed donation today.

payment methods

AN IMPORTANT UPDATE

We’re falling behind our online fundraising goals and we can’t sustain coming up short on donations month after month. Perhaps you’ve heard? It is impossibly hard in the news business right now, with layoffs intensifying and fancy new startups and funding going kaput.

The crisis facing journalism and democracy isn’t going away anytime soon. And neither is Mother Jones, our readers, or our unique way of doing in-depth reporting that exists to bring about change.

Which is exactly why, despite the challenges we face, we just took a big gulp and joined forces with The Center for Investigative Reporting, a team of ace journalists who create the amazing podcast and public radio show Reveal.

If you can part with even just a few bucks, please help us pick up the pace of donations. We simply can’t afford to keep falling behind on our fundraising targets month after month.

Editor-in-Chief Clara Jeffery said it well to our team recently, and that team 100 percent includes readers like you who make it all possible: “This is a year to prove that we can pull off this merger, grow our audiences and impact, attract more funding and keep growing. More broadly, it’s a year when the very future of both journalism and democracy is on the line. We have to go for every important story, every reader/listener/viewer, and leave it all on the field. I’m very proud of all the hard work that’s gotten us to this moment, and confident that we can meet it.”

Let’s do this. If you can right now, please support Mother Jones and investigative journalism with an urgently needed donation today.

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