Folks in Michigan are fed up and stepping up during the first week of coordinated actions of an escalating movement against extreme energy! Today there were two powerful actions in Michigan against tar sands.
In response to the expansion of Enbridge Energy’s pipeline expansion project,line 6b, in Marshall, MI, the Michigan Coalition Against Tar sands (MiCATS) put their bodies directly in the path of a destructive course of development. As the sun crawled over the horizon, they crawled onto the construction site and stood in defiance against the insidious business practices of Enbridge Energy.
The third anniversary of the Enbridge tar sands oil spill in Kalamazoo is approaching, and people are still suffering from exposure. Symptoms include seizures, auto-immune disorders and death. By putting their bodies on the line, these people are saying no to tar sands, no to environmental sacrifice zones and no to harsh extractive practices. This act stands in solidarity with D CATS, Idle No More and Fearless Summer.
Deeply effected personally by the spill, Chris Wahmhoff, a member of MiCATS, took the occasion of his 35th birthday to offer a plea of help to his community. He rolled stomach down on a skateboard deep into the same Enbridge pipeline which spilled a million gallons of tar sands into the Kalamazoo river three years ago. The pipeline is a 5-mile long new section that is being built to replace an existing line. If not for Chris, Enbridge would be working today to twin that pipeline to pump even more tar sands.
Chris came out of the pipeline at 5:03 PM ET, was decontaminated, and taken to a hospital in Marshall and was last seen being escorted to Battle Creek by 2 sheriffs. Please Help Bail him out of Jail. It was reported by people on the ground, that Chris did twinkle fingers and grinned as they sang Happy Birthday.
Jason Manshum, an Enbridge spokesperson, said the company is happy that Wahmhoff is safe. Manshum said Enbridge is checking the pipe for damage and said pressing charges is a “realistic possibility.”
Statements from Chris, MiCATS and links below.
I, Chris Wahmhoff, write this personal statement of civil disobedience, on June 24th, 2013. This is also my 35th birthday, and wish for a future for my friends, family, and their children. I wish that as we are taken to jail, someone else will rise and proclaim, China’s oil will not pass through 6b any longer.
I beg in this statement that people do not listen to what they are told, including myself. But learn for themeselves how many have died. Learn that they made laws like H.B.5555, to hide that people get hurt, that with fracking and this gas and oil extraction harms us all.
I give my freedom and am willing to give everything to ask you loud enough to simply beg “Please, help us.” My birthday wish is help for my community from the people, not the politicians, corporations, and large NGO’s who want money for themselves.
Today, Monday June 24th, 2013, Michigan Coalition Against Tar sands (MiCATS) responded to Enbridge Energy’s pipeline expansion project on line 6b in Marshall, Mi. In response to the expansion of line 6b, MiCATS put our bodies directly in the path of a destructive course of development. As the sun crawled over the horizon, we crawled onto the construction site and stood in defiance against the insidious business practices of Enbridge Energy.
As Enbridge continues to neglect the tar sands settling in the Kalamazoo River following the burst of pipeline 6b in 2010, the company is currently developing the line to more than double the amount of the toxic material being pumped through our communities every day. To increase their capacity from 240,000 barrels per day (bpd) to at least 500,000 bpd, on a pipeline which Enbridge has proven themselves devastatingly inept in maintaining a line healthy enough to maintain it’s initial capacity, not only proves the company’s disregard for public health in the communities surrounding the pipe, but also a lack of accountability for the ecological disaster in 2010.
Enbridge Energy has made it obscenely obvious that they only understand dollar signs, as we (people living near the Kalamazoo River as well as neighbors of the pipeline) pay the true price of heavy water pollution, great risks to public health, and visible ecological destruction. We encourage everyone near the pipeline route to feel empowered to act in resistance to Enbridge through this fearless summer.
In Solidarity with Idle No More,
this video can be viewed here here:
Sheriff Matt Saxton Calhoun County–35 secs while Chris is inside pipeline