Tapestries: Interwoven voices of local and global identities


Statement of Purpose:

In this paper, I examine the roles and functions of policing in the United States in relation to environmental justice movements and protest. Building upon analyses of the history of policing and their role in enforcing and maintaining racial capitalism, I explore how the police enable and protect the destruction of land and environments. To demonstrate the intersections of policing, racial capitalism, and environmental crises I use three case studies: the protests at Standing Rock to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, the movement to Stop Line 3, and the movement to Stop Cop City. I found my way to this paper primarily from my own involvement in the movement to Stop Line 3 here in Minnesota, which I became increasingly involved with as the uprisings following the murder of George Floyd were unfolding across the country. Seeing firsthand the police violence that land and water protectors were met with as we took action to stop the construction of a tar sands oil pipeline on treaty land, opened my eyes to the mechanisms that the police state uses to support the interests of private corporations and the resulting destruction of land, and to criminalize those who resist these projects. In this paper, I seek to be in conversation with abolitionist scholars who are using their scholarship and activism to liberate communities everywhere.

Author Biography

Lydia Macy (she/they) is graduating from Macalester College in the Spring of 2024 with a major in American Studies and a minor in Environmental Studies. She would like to thank her family in California for encouraging a critical analysis of the world from a young age and supporting her through the publication of this paper. Lydia would also like to thank all of the brilliant people she connected with and learned from in the movement to Stop Line 3.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License