BREAKING: Michigan and Indiana Activists Blockade Tar Sands Pipeline with Treesit

16. September 2013
By | Source: Earth First! Newswire

from MICATS

micatstreesitThis morning the Michiana Coalition Against Tar Sands (MICATS) set up a blockade of Enbridge Inc.’s expansion of tar sands pipeline 6b. This pipe—the same that ruptured in 2010 causing the largest and costliest inland oil spill in history—is currently under construction to increase the flow of tar sands from 240,000 barrels per day to 500,000 barrels per day.

Throughout the night a team of MICATS members climbed trees surrounding the Enbridge construction site, and a platform was raised and anchored to several different pieces of construction equipment. Tampering with the ropes, or moving the equipment will cause the platform to tip, dropping the sitter 50 feet to the ground.  According to the tree sitter, “I have the privilege to take this time and put my body on the line, I plan to stay in these trees and stop construction for as long as possible.”

Tar Sands—or “diluted bitumen”—is mined in Alberta Canada, infused with barrels of water and a toxic chemical concoction to turn the substance into a peanut buttery texture; then forced into high pressure pipelines spanning the continent. Companies are scrambling to get as much of this highly corrosive and dirty oil to ports for exportation before the already popular resistance stops its consumption for good. People all along the tar sands path are being poisoned—from those living near toxic tailings ponds at the point of extraction, to anyone near one of Enbridge’s pipelines that spill an average of 80 times per year, to the communities near refineries dealing with air pollution and Petroleum Coke—a refining by product being improperly stored.  “We are following in the footsteps of the First Nations people of Western Canada as we try to stop Enbridge from destroying communities and lands across North America, “ said Scooter, a MICATS activist.

The EPA admits that Enbridge has not fully cleaned up the oil in the Kalamazoo River, but that the clean-up process is causing further pollution. “If Enbridge doesn’t even know how to fix their past mistakes, why would we allow them to build another pipeline that will pump double the amount of toxic Tar Sands? The expansion of line 6b has to stop now so that the land and people can heal,” said Scooter.

Enbridge claims they must replace the pipeline, for “safety” reasons. Yet they have added no adequate safety features to the new 6B. They claim to have no choice in the matter. They have many choices: they can choose to clean up their messes, they can choose to respect the earth and people, they can choose to stop pursuing business ventures that risk turning our communities into sacrifice zones. Enbridge can choose to place the health and wellness of people and the environment before their thirst for profit. Enbridge is choosing quick profits over the health and wellness of people and the environment.

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Go here for live updates.

UPDATE 12:12 PM : The police have been staying away from the sitters’ lifelines!! Thanks to those who called the sheriff department!

UPDATE 11:49 AM: The police brought out an air mattress and threaten to cut the sitters’ lifelines. As you can see in the foreground of this picture, this is one of the ropes anchoring the sitters platform fifty feet in the canopy. The other end of the line is anchored to a piece of pipeline equipment, immobilizing it. If this line in tampered with in any way the platform will tip, if it is cut the platform will drop out of the tree.

UPDATE 10:00AM: The police are not being respectful of the sitters’ lifelines. Please call the LaPorte County Sheriffs Office and let them know we are watching! 219-979-3530 and press 0 for the operator.

UPDATE 9:20 AM: Workers have arrived on site.

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