Segments in this Video

Tar sand in Minnesota (04:10)


Tara Houska is Couchiching First Nation and grew up in Minnesota. The Enbridge Corporation has multiple pipelines through the area and is clear-cutting forests to make more. The company is adding toxic chemicals to tar sand to push it through the lines.

Lake Superior Basin (02:11)

Enbridge wants to put a pipeline through the Lake Superior basin. Numerous Native American tribes have been trying to protect the area since the 1820s.

Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance (02:19)

Houska was among the protesters who faced police brutality trying to protect drinking water. She called the practice of building pipelines through reservation environments racism.

Line 3 Resistance (04:04)

The Ojibwe have had a treaty with the American government to protect their wild rice lakes since the 1820s. A leak from Enbridge's proposed Line 3 pipeline would destroy them. It also crosses the Mississippi River twice.

Wells Fargo Lockdown (04:56)

Protestors caused lockdowns at banks that invest in Line 3. They use the necessity defense, which says any action is lawful if the need is great enough. Multiple lawyers signed on to argue the defense before a Minnesota judge.

Line 3 Permitting Process (05:03)

Native American residents spoke against the line at Public Utility Commission hearings, but the commission gave unanimous approval. Protestors planned to establish a protest camp, but Enbridge made a deal with police to pay for any overtime created from a Line 3 protest.

Valve Turners' Action (05:43)

In solidarity with Standing Rock, protestors closed pipeline valves in an attempt to shut down nine Enbridge pipelines. Four protestors in Minnesota were permitted to use a necessity defense at trial. The Climate Defense Project protects climate activists.

Valve Turners' Jury Trial: Rethinking Strategy (04:23)

A week before the trial, the judge disallowed expert witnesses on climate change. The decision limited the evidence lawyers could present for a necessity defense.

Indigenous Peoples' Day (06:22)

The city of Duluth recognized the day, but protestors wanted a commitment to water protection. Lawyers are relying on indigenous people as experts for the protection of their lands and water. Civil disobedience has a history of creating change within the American legal system.

Valve Turners' Trial: Jury Selection (02:33)

Lawyers explained the threat of the pipeline and how attempting to shut it down was necessary. The valve turners were charged with creating damage, but the pipeline itself was dangerous.

Husky Refinery Fire (04:05)

An explosion occurred at the Wisconsin oil refinery in 2018. Smoke from the burning tar sands covered the region. If the fire had spread to the hydrofluoric acid tank, it would have destroyed multiple neighboring cities.

Valve Turners' Jury Trial: Opening Statements and Prosecutor's Case (11:05)

Houska explains the difficulties of white allyship. Lawyers were hoping to explain the need for climate necessity actions, but a motion to acquit was granted before they could. It was a strategic loss for the movement.

Credits: Necessity: Oil, Water, and Climate Resistance (02:28)

Credits: Necessity: Oil, Water, and Climate Resistance

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Necessity: Oil, Water, and Climate Resistance

Part of the Series : Necessity: Climate Resistance through Direct Action
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



This film traces the fight in Minnesota against the expansion of pipelines carrying highly toxic tar sands oil through Native lands and essential waterways in North America. Frontline communities—Native peoples and communities of color—suffer the most immediate and severe consequences of the climate crisis, including impacts on physical and mental health as well as territorial desecration and displacement. This feature-length documentary follows indigenous leaders and white allies who are using direct action to protect the sacred and demand justice. Legal experts discuss the record of disparate treatment in the justice system and the legal strategy of the necessity defense, which makes a moral case for acts of civil disobedience, while medical and scientific experts address the health effects of fossil fuels and dangers of pipeline and refinery infrastructure.

Length: 60 minutes

Item#: BVL274649

Copyright date: ©2020

Closed Captioned

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