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Two charged for blocking entrance at Enbridge pipeline contractor

SUPERIOR, Wis.—Two people have been charged after a protest blocked the entrances at an Enbridge pipeline contractor in Superior, Wis., on Thursday.

Amber Mae Duvall, 30, of University City, Mo., and Alexander Emery Good-Cane-Milk, 23, of Cloquet, Minn., were each charged Friday in Douglas County Circuit Court with one count of obstructing an officer and one count of misdemeanor bail jumping. Both charges carry a maximum sentence of nine months or $10,000 fine.

Duvall was previously charged with resisting/obstructing and trespassing on Sept. 8 and Good-Cane-Milk was previously charged with resisting an officer, disorderly conduct and trespass to land on Aug. 30 in connection with protests that stopped work on a segment of Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline construction in rural Douglas County. The criminal complaint noted that both of them were ordered to have no contact with Enbridge property or employees, nor interfere with Enbridge operations.

Five people were arrested during Thursday's protest. A series of worksite protests began Aug. 21 southwest of Superior on the construction site of the Line 3 replacement pipeline. Thursday's protest was the first within the city of Superior's limits. Enbridge is constructing a new pipeline to replace the existing 50-year-old Line 3 that crosses northern Minnesota on its route from Alberta to Superior. The replacement is currently under construction in Canada and Wisconsin, and awaiting the outcome of a review process in Minnesota.

Enbridge spokeswoman Jennifer Smith said that workers were on the site before dawn on Thursday for a safety meeting and encountered the blocked exits upon their departure. Workers eventually drove around the blockades. Smith said workers endure long and hard days, and wished the protesters would accept the company's offer to talk rather than delay work.

According to the criminal complaint:

Superior police officers responded to a call about protesters blocking an entrance to an Enbridge pipeline work yard, 5300 Stinson Ave., at 6:17 a.m. Thursday. Occupants of two vehicles, a silver Toyota and a red minivan, had positioned their vehicles in front of the gates to the work yard and deflated the vehicles' tires. About a dozen people were chanting and recording the situation from across the street.

The occupants had chained themselves inside the vehicles. A man, later identified as Good-Cane-Milk, had attached himself to the rear cargo area of the van and his arms were inside a large metal tube while he laid on his stomach facing the ground across the rear bumper. An officer attempted to get him out of the van, but he refused and officers had to use power tools to cut him out of the van.

An officer saw a woman at the scene who was believed to have been previously arrested and ordered to have no contact with Enbridge property. The woman, later identified as Duvall, was recording the incident while walking along the road, in addition to participating in the protest. When asked by the officer if she had a no-contact order, she said she didn't, and when she was asked if she was Duvall, she said she wasn't.