Hello from the PAN Minnesota team!
We missed you in October, so this month’s newsletter is packed with incredible accounts of love and resistance. Speaking of resistance, I was turned on to this great read, Abolitionist Agroecology: Food Sovereignty and Pandemic Prevention by Maywa Montenegro de Wit. In addition to taking the racialized capitalist industrial food system to task for its role in COVID-19, the author draws important links between the slavery and carceral Abolition movements and the Agroecology movement for food systems transformation. If that’s not enough to hook you, I’ll leave you with this short quote:
“When agroecologists, like abolitionists, hear that their plans are simply not realistic, the answer can and should be: in spite of everything, it is already real.”
Now on to important local happenings! Below, you’ll find some exciting updates on clean water work we’re doing with partners here in Minnesota, Line 3 resistance stories, and more.
Zoe Hollomon, PAN Minnesota Organizer
Clean Water is a Right
In August, PAN joined our partners Toxic Taters, White Earth Land Recovery Project, Minnesota Well Owners Organization, and Northern Water Alliance in providing free water testing clinics in North Central Minnesota. Water testing is an important entry point for community education about water contamination and for organizing around water safety. This work is especially important in rural and farming communities that are heavily exposed to pesticides and source their water from wells. Unlike municipal water sources, private wells aren't closely regulated for contaminant testing and maintenance. Our results found that many families are using unsafe water and are unable to afford the costs of water service or filtration.
We want to be able to support our community members when their test results show dangerous chemical levels and immediate action is needed. Our state government should be doing far more to protect and provide access to clean water for all. But until then we’re launching the Clean Water as a Right fund, which will support community members with emergency clean water, filtration systems and other water services. Please help us reach our launch goal with a donation of any size, and connect with Toxic Taters Coordinator Tanya RedRoad.
Stop Line 3
It has been about two months since the Line 3 pipeline became operational and many of us are feeling sad, angry, and without a just end to a long-fought battle. But, hearing from the folks who spearheaded so much incredible organizing, legal defenses, and community-based archiving work is an inspiration that reminds us we can still fight to shut down Line 3 and demand accountability. Listen to Indigenous leaders from Minnesota and North Dakota share stories of resistance to Line 3 at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. Check out these interviews with Tara Houska and Taysha Martineau on ABC Nightline. And consider supporting the amazing work of aerial documentation of Line 3 degradation.
Are you organizing in food, agriculture, or the environment? We’d love to meet you! Please join us for our next Zoom meet-up on December 8 — a casual hang where we’ll get to know each other, the work we’re doing, and how we might collaborate in the future. Email me for more details.