Despite COVID Restrictions, DFL Legislators Head North to Protest Line 3

While Governor Walz and Keith Ellison are busy shutting down businesses who want to try and make a living, no such scrutiny appears to be forthcoming for eight DFL legislators traveled to Northern Minnesota to oppose the construction of the Line 3 pipeline.

Among the attendees were Senators Jen McEwen, Erin Murphy, Mary Kunesh, John Marty, and Lindsey Port, along with Representatives Sydney Jordan, Liz Bolden, Heather Keeler, according to a video on the Facebook Page for MN350, an anti-pipeline activists group.

We are still under the November lockdown orders issued by Governor Walz before Thanksgiving, to stop family gatherings, meaning the assembly by pipeline protestors violates the Governor’s prohibition against outdoor gatherings with people outside of your immediate household. According to MinnPost:

“Walz’s executive order bans indoor and outdoor social gatherings, even if people can safely distance. This means a person can’t meet up with anyone outside of their own household.

There are some exceptions, such as caring for a family member, friend or pet in another household or moving for fear for your safety or health. Drive-in gatherings are allowed if people stay in their own cars.

People can gather for religious services, weddings and funerals at event spaces like as a church as long as they maintain 6-feet of space between people of different households and adhere to an indoor limit of 50 percent capacity or a maximum of 250 people. Outdoor gatherings also can’t exceed 250 people.

Receptions and other events tied to weddings, funerals and celebrations like birthdays are also banned.”

While there are exemptions for tribal lands and the gatherings are likely protected as political speech under the first amendment, there is no question that the gatherings violate the spirit of Walz’s shutdown orders.

The lack of concern about violating COVID guidelines from liberal legislators and anti-pipeline activists is especially ironic because they called for the construction of the pipeline to be delayed due to the pandemic. Apparently, the COVID rules don’t apply to them, or the causes they support.

This continues 2020’s theme of Two Minnesota’s. Conservatives were chided for protesting COVID lockdowns but the protests and riots that erupted after George Floyd died in police custody received no such shaming.  The media are quick to criticize conservative lawmakers regarding their compliance with the COVID restrictions, but levy no criticism of DFLers who violate the spirit of the orders.

Line 3 is an environmental improvement project that will make transporting oil safer, boost our economy, increase the local tax base for local governments along the pipeline route and make our nation less dependent on foreign oil. It is the definition of putting America, and Minnesota, first.