The Canadian company Enbridge, which a history of destroying the earth and violating Indigenous communities, is planning to build a compressor in Weymouth, MA, which would transport fracked gas from Massachusetts to Europe through Canada. The compressor is part of Enbridge's broader projects to extract resources from the earth in the name of profits, while violating Indigenous communities and lands. Enbridge is driving the expansion of Line 3 - an oil pipeline that, as Indigenous and other activists resisting the project explain, would "bring nearly a million barrels of tar sands per day from Alberta, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin," and run "through untouched wetlands and the treaty territory of Anishinaabe peoples, through the Mississippi River headwaters to the shore of Lake Superior."
Residents, including Indigenous activists, have been trying to stop the compressor from being built. As the group Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station has written:
This Compressor Station poses a serious threat to the health, safety, environment, and economy of the South Shore.
Enbridge*, a Canadian energy company, recently completed construction of a 7,700-horsepower Fracked-Gas Compressor Station adjacent to the new Fore River Bridge in North Weymouth. This station will adversely affect South Shore residents, unless we can stop it from operating.
This facility has no business being in this location - or any location. Compressors are usually built in rural areas given their environmental, health, and safety risks. The Weymouth Compressor Station has been built in the most densely populated location ever in a coastal area in the United States. The compressor is not needed in the Basin or anywhere else.
Kerry Labrador spoke about the harms the facility would bring to the Mi'kmaq people living in Nova Scotia, where this fracked-gas would be transported:
I chose to lock down today in solidarity with my Mi'kmaq people in Nova Scotia who are battling Alton Gas. Many don't know that the Weymouth Compressor Station IS the mouthpiece to the Alton Gas project and that Nova Scotia is a destination point for the brine release. The Shubenacadie River is still an active river, that's very much in use and not just by the people but also the wildlife species who inhabit this area. Gov. Baker has no rights or jurisdiction on unceded Mi'kmaq territories nor does he have the right to trample on international treaties and I'm here to expose him for doing exactly all of that all in the name of greed. My people are not for sale and neither is their land...this is our resistance,” says Kerry Labrador, whose Mi’kmaq family would be gravely impacted by the compressor project.
On the National Day of Mourning in 2020 (so-called "Thanksgiving"), Matowin Munro of United American Indians of New England spoke about Enbridge's destructive projects and how it is connected to other forms of oppression:
Here we are, deep in the heartland of colonialism. Here we are, a place where great dying occurred, overlooking a harbor where Wampanoag, Nipmuc, Massachusett and other indigenous captives were shipped off as slaves. Let’s take a moment to think about those who are no longer with us. Our elders leave us and they take so much knowledge with them when they do. We feel lonely without them, but we also feel our ancestors here beside us, holding us up today. We pray for those who cannot be here with us today, for all of the people in communities hit hard by Covid, especially indigenous and Black and Latinx communities, with much higher rates of hospitalizations and deaths. We think of all the indigenous people throughout this hemisphere who are being swept away by this horrible disease, from British Columbia to Brazil. As of yesterday, the hard-hit Navajo nation has had more than 15,000 positive cases and 638 deaths. Many other communities are suffering tremendously. Our people all too often lack basic resources – clean water for washing, decent health care and other things that would help to reduce the amount of sickness and death. But indigenous people are largely trapped under governments that do not care about our future, and fail to take the necessary steps to make sure we are all protected. When native nations ask for government help, they may be sent body bags instead of much-needed supplies. Or the bureaucrats want to fight over sending relief money to tribes. To the settler governments, the saying, “the only good Indian is a dead Indian” seems to remain true to this day.
We think today of the many people and allies who are unable to be here with us. The epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women, girls and two-spirits continues. Yesterday brought devastating news about a local missing Mashpee/Wampanoag teen, Jalaysia Finkley, whose body was believed to have been found in Florida. Today, we offer our deepest condolences to her family and her community.
We acknowledge the many struggles that all of you have carried here today: from the many efforts to stop pipelines and the Weymouth compressor station, to the ongoing work to free Puerto Rico, to the attempted desecration of Mauna Kea by scientists who lack respect for indigenous sacred places, to occupied Palestine, and we say loudly, here and now, and forever, Black Lives Matter!
I end by talking about #LANDBACK again, something on the lips of many indigenous people. Treaties need to be honored. Lands need to be returned. There are ways to start the process of decolonizing the lands and to address climate collapse, right now. First, ensure that no projects can go through any indigenous nations’ land without free, prior and informed consent. Second, take all of the land that’s currently being mismanaged by all the settler governments, such as the national parks or the Amazon rain forest, and let indigenous nations manage that land. That would mean the restoration of millions of acres of our lands to us. It would also mean the end of the desecration of many sacred sites, such as the Black Hills or sacred Oak Flat. Third, cancel all the leases, pipelines, mining and corporate contracts, and let indigenous people decide what should developments should continue and what should not.
I don’t want anyone who hears this to feel like you should give up, despite how hard 2020 has been. We can fight together for climate justice. We can take care of each other, and do our best to mask up and reduce the spread of this plague. We can end settler colonialism. We can reclaim our lands. We are not vanishing, we are not conquered, we are as strong as ever.