Corvallis Activists Bring # StopLine3 Art to Farmers Market
Resistance against the construction of the Line 3 oil sands pipeline in northern Minnesota has grown nationwide, in large part thanks to many climate activist groups turning to tactics. based on arts and culture to educate and involve their own communities on the issue. Spanning multiple states and cities – including Corvallis – these tactics were first made widely possible through the collaboration of NDN Collective and Stop the Money Pipeline, who co-hosted a # DefundLine3 Arts Visibility Action Week during the week of July 12.
The week of action was a call for widespread and hyper-visible solidarity with Indigenous water protectors and their allies who continue to put their bodies, their voices and their future at the forefront in their efforts to stop continued development. of Line 3, which would desecrate the ancestral lands, waters and ways of life of various Indigenous nations in its path.
Ten Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists from the climate justice movement helped design posters that people can use during the week of action. These posters were included in newspaper sets, 6,000 of which were printed and mailed to over 400 climate justice groups and activists across the United States – one of them being 350 Corvallis.
âI asked for three newspapers and they sent me 40,â said local environmental activist Patti Warner, a member of 350 Corvallis.
The newspapers included tips to help spread these images in public spaces, such as displaying them in the windows of homes and businesses, sticking them near funding banks and taking advantage of Line 3, turning them into protest signs or organizing. pop-up art exhibitions. . The latter was the first action undertaken at Corvallis.
The clothesline art fair
On July 14, Warner, along with other environmental activists Karen Kos and Larry Weymouth, who both visited the Treaty People Gathering in early June, held an informal meeting
âClothesline Art Exhibitâ at the Central Park Kiosk from noon to 9 pm. Additional copies of the posters were available for passers-by to pick up freely, as were courtyard signs featuring poster designs on both sides.
Warner was able to create them by reusing 45 remaining garden signs from Energize Corvallis, as well as garden signs promoting the election campaigns of Sami Al-AbdRabbuh and Luhui Whitebear in this year’s Corvallis School Board race. . Not only practical, it has proven to be a creative alternative to the restrictions put in place by Corvallis that limit how visual art can be displayed in the city.
âWe haven’t made wheat dough all over Corvallis because they have so many laws and regulations in place to post signs,â Warner said.
Ahead of the action week, Stop the Money Pipeline and NDN Collective hosted an artistic deployment training webinar, where attendees heard from artists David Solnit and Cy Wagoner, NDN Collective’s Creative Resistance Coordinator, on different art-based tactics and ideas for use in their communities.
“It was cool because no one else [in the U.S.] started putting posters on road signs, âWarner said. “And [at the] arts activist webinar a few days before the week of actionâ¦ David said: âSomeone in Corvallis decided to put the posters up on the backyard signs!
Art exhibition at the farmer’s market
With a handful of posters left over from the art exhibit, Warner glued a copy of each drawing onto cardboard to make it into a triptych, which made its first public appearance at a protest held outside the Wells Fargo Building on July 3 and Monroe on July 18. – the last day of the week of action. Thanks to Warner’s efforts, however, the posters continued to appear in Corvallis, albeit this time in a more visible – and laid-back – community space.
On July 24 and 31, the Warner Triptych – complete with maps, a list of recommended actions, and President Biden’s phone number – toured the Farmers Market again. Curious onlookers asked about the posters and received information from Warner about the Line 3 pipeline, including the sacred lands and the waters it threatens.
One of the spectators was Shiggoap, an Alaskan native of Ts’msyen, Haida and Tlingit descent who was visiting Corvallis on the weekend of July 24 with his two children.
âI’m from Southeast Alaska and we have exactly the same problems – companies and banks are coming to destroy our salmon habitat,â Shigoapp said. âCruise lines dump all their garbage in the waters. In northern Alaska, oil companies are threatening tundra and caribou, which is imperative.
Art as narration
Salmon are a sacred cultural resource for many Indigenous nations of the Pacific Northwest, including the Nez Perce or Niimiipu people, who on July 29 returned and blessed part of their ancestral lands in Joseph, Oregon. , from which they were forcibly driven. 100 years ago by the US military, which sent the Nez Perce to a reserve in Idaho.
Earlier this month, the Nez Perce and Shoshone-Banock tribes called on President Biden to continue their ongoing efforts to demand the removal of four dams along the lower Snake River, the longest tributary of the Columbia River to restore once abundant salmon populations.
Much like the Arts Visibility Action Week, five Indigenous artists – including Aly McKnight of the Shoshone-Banock tribe – have been commissioned by IllumiNative to create pieces that tell the story of the urgent need to protect sacred sites in risk, including threatened Anishinaabe territories. by Line 3. These works of art were deployed to support and amplify the Red Route to DC, a journey through the country in which a 25-foot-long, 5,000-pound totem pole carved and painted with images illuminating the struggles indigenous communities face as a result of environmental desecration – including the loss of salmon and other culturally important wildlife – traveled from the Lummi Nation in Bellingham, Washington to ‘in Washington DC
According to the Red Road to DC website, the totem pole, which arrived in the nation’s capital on July 29, made several stops along the way “for ceremonies and events broadcast live with communities leading efforts to protect sacred places threatened by resource extraction and industrial development. âThese stops included Snake River, Bears Ears, Chaco Canyon, Standing Rock and the Shell City Campground in Menahga, Minnesota, which has seen increasing numbers of Anti-Line-3 activists gather for a âWomen for the Riversâ rally in mid-July.
On July 25, the totem pole was encountered and blessed by water protectors at Shell River, which is currently being drilled for Line 3 to pass underneath. Among those water protectors was Trish Weber, a Corvallis-based Honor the Earth board member who, along with six other women – including prominent Anishinaabe activist Winona LaDuke – were arrested on July 19 for blocking an Enbridge easement along the river, chained to lawn chairs.
âAs the pole moves, it draws connecting lines – honoring, uniting and empowering communities that work to protect sacred places,â the site says.
Warner will continue to display their triptych at the Farmers Market over the coming weekends and offer information to anyone interested in learning more. She informed us that she will have 20 more copies of the Defund Line 3 posters for people to take away during this Saturday’s market, although anyone can still download them from the # DefundLine3 digital art kit, which also includes other printable resources such as zines and sheet music. In addition, the kit contains instructions on other artistic tactics for community engagement, including painting murals, creating virtual stencils and banners, and using chalk art.
For more frontline updates on the ongoing struggle to stop Line 3, follow Giniw Collective and Northfield Against Line 3.
Another nation-wide day of action to call for greenwashing from major Line 3 funding banks is scheduled for Friday, August 13. Stay tuned to the 350 Corvallis calendar for pending information on a local event.
By Ãmilie Ratcliff