When the Line 3 pipeline project got underway, we were overjoyed that my husband got hired to work on it. As residents of Bemidji, Minnesota, we understood how crucial this project is to the future of our region.
Like many families, 2020 hit us hard. For construction on the Line 3 Replacement Project to start in December while so many industries and projects were on hold was a godsend.
What we didn’t anticipate was the extreme backlash that would occur from those who oppose the project. It has been terrifying to see the news articles of the daily protests at construction sites across northern Minnesota over the past 10 months. At first, it appeared to be individuals showing up to make their voices heard. They brought signs, stood on the sides of the roads, and sang songs and chanted to make their points. But those peaceful protests have quickly turned aggressive.
My husband is a pipeline worker. He did not go into this work to be confronted and verbally assaulted. He did not go into this field to be demeaned and degraded. And he certainly did not take this job expecting his personal safety to be threatened by outside actors creating risky conditions for pipeline workers and first responders.
There are enough daily fears that our family has to deal with from this job. Any project of this scope has anticipated dangers that come from moving massive pipes and operating heavy machinery. But those are foreseen issues that can be addressed in a manner to ensure safety.
No one should feel unsafe at their job due to completely unnecessary antics like those occurring thanks to Line 3 protesters. These workers do not deserve to be put in these dangerous situations, and our families do not deserve the added worry.
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