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State troopers allowing Line 3 protestors to continue after arrests at State Capitol

State Troopers surrounded protestors on the Capitol grounds early Friday afternoon, citing an expired permit.

SAINT PAUL, Minn. — State Troopers are allowing a group of Line 3 protestors to continue demonstrating on State Capitol grounds, after surrounding them early Friday afternoon, citing an expired permit. 

Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Gordon Shank told KARE 11's Kiya Edwards that the situation is an "ongoing investigation," and would not give details on why troopers stood down. Shank said an update will be provided later. 

The group of self-described "water protectors" obtained a permit to hold protests on the capitol grounds Aug. 24-26 to demonstrate against the Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline project. 

According to photojournalist Evan Frost with KARE 11's news partner MPR, some protestors were arrested and removed from Capitol grounds. Videos posted on Twitter by Frost shows troopers carrying at least two people away. 

Frost also posted that a Tipi that was placed on the grounds during the protests earlier in the week was deconstructed within a police barrier. 

In a written statement, a media contact for the protestors said, "Today, we must stay here peacefully and in prayer for as long as it takes to be heard. Because this country has shown that it can’t hear Indigenous voices and those that stand for a livable future -- yet. We are all Treaty People and we all have an obligation to uphold."

The protestors are calling on Governor Tim Walz and the Biden Administration to cancel permits for the Line 3 pipeline project, which they say violates longstanding tribal agreements, and could lead to an environmental disaster. 

This is a developing story. KARE 11 will provide more details as new information becomes available.

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