Apr 29

Release: State’s Response on Enbridge Line 5 Violations Woefully Inadequate

Groups demand immediate, meaningful legal action on company’s easement violations

April 29, 2016 — the meek response by Michigan’s top leaders to clear violations of Enbridge Energy Partners’ easement agreement with the state deepens concerns about a lack of leadership in protecting the Straits of Mackinac from a catastrophic oil spill, Great Lakes advocates said today in a letter to the state.

On April 27, the Oil & Water Don’t Mix campaign received a response from Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and the Snyder administration to the campaign’s April 13 letter, documenting at least eight known violations of Enbridge Energy Partners’ lease agreement with the state for operating pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac. Enbridge’s ongoing violations related to pipeline design threaten the very safety and health of the Great Lakes, and thus trigger the state’s duty to enforce its agreement with Enbridge.

The state’s letter points to the Michigan Pipeline Safety Advisory Board process to evaluate risks and alternatives to Line 5 in the Straits as proof that state officials are taking action to protect the Great Lakes from an oil spill. This evaluation process, however, will not be complete until the summer of 2017 at the earliest.

“We are deeply disappointed that Michigan Attorney General Schuette, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Director Keith Creagh and Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director William Moritz failed to address the urgent issues we raised in our letter,” said environmental attorney Liz Kirkwood, Executive Director of FLOW (For Love of Water) in Traverse City. “Instead, they simply cited what is amounting to a two-year process with little certainty of producing an outcome that will protect our Great Lakes. That is not acceptable to us and our communities and businesses that love and rely on the Great Lakes.”

In the Oil & Water Don’t Mix campaign’s April 13 letter, twenty-two partner groups and Patagonia, Inc., called on the state to terminate its easement with Enbridge because the risk to the Great Lakes is too great and no remedy exists for some of the eight specific violations of the easement and state law, which include:

  • Concealing information about cracks, dents, and corrosion with continued, sweeping assertions and misrepresentations that the Straits pipelines are in “excellent condition, almost as new as when they were built and installed” and have “no observed corrosion.” Of the nine rust spots on the on-shore portion of the eastern Straits pipeline, corrosion has eaten away 26 percent of the pipeline’s wall thickness in a 7-inch-long area, according to newly released company data.
  • Failing to meet the pipeline wall thickness requirement due to corrosion and manufacturing defects. Newly released Enbridge data reveals that manufacturing defects in the 1950s resulted in pipeline wall thickness of less than half an inch in perhaps hundreds of sections and up to 41 percent less thick than mandated on the west Straits pipeline. Enbridge, meanwhile, continues to boast falsely about its “nearly one-inch-thick walls of Line 5’s steel pipe travelling under the Straits.”
  • Failing to meet the “reasonably prudent person” provision by claiming that its steel pipelines lying underwater just west of the Mackinac Bridge since 1953 can last forever and do not require a plan for eventual decommissioning. The 63-year-old pipelines were built to last 50 years.
  • Failing to demonstrate adequate liability insurance, maintain required coating and wood-slat covering to prevent rust and abrasion, and adequately support the pipeline, resulting in stressed and deformed segments.
  • Failing to adhere to federal emergency spill response and state environmental protection laws, including Act 10 of P.A. 1953, the Great Lakes Submerged Lands Act (“GLSLA”), the Michigan Environmental Protection Act (“MEPA”), and public trust law.

“The state is not acting with any sense of urgency despite the clear and present danger these pipelines pose to the Great Lakes and shoreline communities,” said James Clift, Policy Director of the Michigan Environmental Council. “If the state truly takes their responsibility as seriously as they say to protect the public trust resources of the Great Lakes—the crown jewels of Michigan’s environment and economy—state officials will enforce the violations of the 1953 legal agreement with Enbridge.”

“The culture of denial and delay continues to prevail among Michigan’s top leadership, unfairly placing the risk on the public and our communities,” said David Holtz, Executive Committee Chair of the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter. “It’s time to prioritize our public waters over powerful private interests.”

To date, more than 30 cities, villages, townships, and counties and tribal governments, across Michigan have voted to call on the governor and attorney general to stop the oil flowing through the Straits, including Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, and the cities of Cheboygan, Petoskey, Charlevoix, and Traverse City. Dramatic new research from the University of Michigan released in late March shows an Enbridge oil pipeline rupture in the Mackinac Straits could impact more than 700 miles of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron coastlines, as well as more than 15 percent of Lake Michigan’s open water and nearly 60 percent of Lake Huron’s open water.

The state of Michigan’s April 27 letter is available here and the Oil & Water Don’t Mix campaign’s April 13 letter here.

Apr 22

Earth First! Rendezvous in the Great Lakes Basin this Summer!

rondy fish cropped

Members of MICATS have joined forces with our friends in Fen Valley Earth First! to help organize the 2016 Earth First! Round River Rendezvous. The Rendezvous (rondy) is going to be held June 29th-July 7th in the Manistee National Forest. For more info, read the message from the Rondy Organizing Crew below!

Earth First!
Fen Valley Earth First! (with more info on the rondy)
Donation Information
RRR2016 Flyer

Come Get Smitten in the Mitten!

Want to watch the sunset over an endless body of fresh water on top of a sand dune while you consider the conversations, workshops, and experiences of an Earth First! Rendezvous? This is a possibility as organizing for the 37th Annual Earth First! Round River Rendezvous is currently underway! Folks affiliated with Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands, along with other regional eco-defenders have joined Fen Valley Earth First! to plan for next year’s Rondy. We will continue working hard through July to create space for everyone who attends to have a great experience at the 2016 EF! Rendezvous. As this organizing body contains many new faces to the Earth First! movement, we are seeking to use this as an opportunity to strengthen our movement here and abroad, as well as deepen our connections with each of you and the Great Lakes Basin.

These peninsulas were once widely inhabited by people of the Ojibwe (Chippewa in English), Odawa, and Potowatami nations, or the People of Three Fires. As occupation of European settlers became dominant, the two peninsulas dissolved into the current industrialized State called Michigan; which continues to be populated and controlled by those who refer to each other as Trolls and Yoopers. A myriad of ecological and hydrological catastrophes followed, and have continued to devastate this region over the course of colonization.

We encourage you to consider water in the months leading up to the Rendezvous. Access to, contention over, intrinsic rights, and contamination of water will all be recurring topics in and out of workshops. Upon arrival, you will never be more than 6 miles from a body of water, or more than 85 miles from a Great Lake.

We have been working hard gleaning, organizing, scouting and strengthening friendships in preparation for the Rendezvous. Here are some updates from our crew so far.

-Pending any large issues the dates of the Round River Rendezvous are June 29th till July 6th which includes a powerful new moon.

-Depending on indigenous consent and a couple other factors, our first choice site is near Manistee, on traditionally Anishinaabeg land. The site will have walkable swimming/diving/boating, potable water, Seeds of Peace kitchen, limited cell phone reception, and bathroom options. The Rondy is family friendly and camping is a 15 minute walk from parking! Please contact us at rrr2016@riseup.net with accessibility concerns and other questions.

  • We are putting together a gear library. If you’d like to come but don’t have what you need to be comfortable in the woods, please contact us. If you have extra camping gear also let us know.
  • We are having on-going conversations about alcohol at the rondy; juggling the dynamics between creating fun, central, sober places and being honest that people are gonna find somewhere to drink.
  • There will be a Mad, Trans’ and Womens’ Action Coalition, People of Color, Sober, and Family Camp! If you are a member of any of these camps and/or have specific site requests please contact us.
  • Please do not bring your canine friends! Yer dog’s probably nice but we don’t want to meet them.

The Round River Rendezvous takes everyone to be a success. Here is how y’all can help!

  • If you have conflict mediation experience and are interested in survivor-centric solutions and harm reduction think about joining our conflict mediation team
  • If you have first aid, wilderness first responder, medical, body work and/or herbal healing skills we need you on the medic team
  • If you are interested in water purification, cooking for large groups, digging shitters, setting up tarps, etc. join the site logistics team
  • If you’re a child at heart help with planning day activities for the younger activists
  • We need someone to coordinate shuttles to a beach that is gentle walk or roll from the car. The trails to the swimming have the potential to be very steep.
  • As you are planting gardens, boiling sap, birthing animals, drying beans, or getting food stamps allocate some for our kitchen. We’ll provide breakfast and dinner but you’re on your own for lunch.
  • Throw a fundraiser for the Rondy! Sell journals or ‘zines, play a house show, babysit, do a talk for a university, get a job, or send us tax returns but send us some cash or fund an activist in your community that wouldn’t otherwise be able to come. Checks can be made to Forever Wild LLC, or through paypal click “send money to family or friends” and put in
    rrr2016@riseup.net, there will also be a link on the Fen Valley site. Email if you have questions.
  • Study up! Learn about your own bioregion or the Great Lakes Basin, the historic struggles that happened where you live, how your region became part of the “United States”, the benefits and struggles that come with your identity, the philosophies of deep ecology and biocentrism, how to make a fire or purify water, or the resistance fighters who came before us.
  • Think about what chores you’ll do in the mitten. Will you have late night security shift with a prospective sweetie, play games at kid’s camp, or haul water and fire wood for the Night to Howl?
  • Hone in on the skills you have to offer, put together a workshop, then email us!
  • We also need these items: tarps, large tents, climb gear, paracord, gas cards, kids’ activities, water containers, hand wash stations, biodegradable soap, toilet paper, and shovels. This list will be updated at www.fenvalleyearthfirst.wordpress.com

We would love to hear from you, contact us at rrr2016@riseup.net and we will post updates and Michigan news at www.fenvalleyearthfirst.wordpress.com and on the news wire. We look forward to seeing y’all! And if you want to get in the Great Lakes spirit before July try jumping in some cold water. Then warm up by making pasty’s (pronounced past-eees), a savory hand pie that’s localized to northern Michigan. Mix flour, shortening, and a little bit of water to make the crust. For the filling chop up rutabagas, potatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, and other roots. If ya like, add some ground venison, preferably road kill. Season the whole mix with salt ‘n pepper. Roll out a circle of crust, put a small handful of filling on one side, fold over, and crimp closed. The pasty should be a little bigger than your hand. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Enjoy with gravy, ketchup, hot sauce, and a strong Michigan accent!

See Ya Soon!

-Fen Valley Earth First!

rrr2016@riseup.netearth night right side up

Apr 18

Dear MI DEQ, Don’t Let Enbridge Off the Hook

The MI DEQ is planning on approving a Non Further Action for the 2010 Kalamazoo River Spill. They are accepting public comment. So we put together a statement of opposition.

 

Dear Chris Lantinga and the DEQ,

We write with fierce opposition to the transportation and refinement of all tar sands and fossil fuels throughout the great lakes region. Enbridge’s neglect indicates the corporation’s thirst for profits over a sincere concern for our environment. We are in opposition to the Department’s Intent to approve an Unrestricted Residential No Further Action motion (NFA). We urge the DEQ to deny the NFA motion.

The EPA has yet to come out with their final Clean Water Act penalties against Enbridge for the largest inland tar sands spill in U.S. history. It is our fear that if Enbridge is let off the hook, the EPA will have no ability to enforce fines and penalties.

The report falsely claims “Emergency response actions were initiated immediately following the discovery of the release.” It is a well reported fact that Enbridge workers dismissed the pressure drop warnings as air bubbles. Instead of shutting off the flow of tar sands, they increased the pressure.

Residents on the ground, at Bakers Estates’ trailer park had to wait 4-5 days, in some cases up to 10 or more days for evacuation. The evacuation was then very poorly executed utilizing rolling evacuations, meaning a family would stay in a hotel for a night or two, then be sent back to ground zero.

Over 40 people have died of cancer and kidney/liver failure as a result of the spill, many have been diagnosed with multiple forms of cancer. Due to silencing laws passed in the last few years, and Enbridge’s devious ways (non-disclosure clauses of settlements), these people are not able to speak out and highlight the connection between their illnesses and the spill.

Due to these extreme negligences by Enbridge we urge the DEQ to deny the NFA motion. We urge the DEQ to act on behalf of the people impacted by this, our environment, our climate and our future by holding Enbridge accountable and denying the NFA.

In the spirit of liberation,
Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands

Apr 17

This Week: Canadian Tribal Leader Tour to Spotlight Cost of Tar Sands Oil For Michigan, Sarnia

Western Canada’s Oil Flows to the Straits of Mackinac, Detroit, Battle Creek and Ontario Impacting Public Health, Environment

During a tour next week through Sarnia, southwest Detroit, Battle Creek and Grand Rapids, Beaver Lake Cree Nation tribal leader Crystal Lameman will travel to Michigan and Ontario, joining other speakers in shining a spotlight on how tar sands mining in her Alberta homeland is devastating lives and threatening the environment at its source in the western reaches of Canada to impacting public health and our environment throughout Michigan and the Great Lakes region from the Straits of Mackinac, the Kalamazoo River and southwest Detroit to Ontario.   Lameman brings her message to Michigan and Ontario:  The Real Costs of Oil: The Case for Justice at the Ends of the Pipeline.

Who:
Beaver Lake Cree Nation leader Crystal Lameman, Council of Canadians, Aamjiwnaang First Nation, Windsor on Watch, 48217 Citizens Group, Sierra Club, Michigan Native American Lee Sprague, West Michigan Environmental Action Council, Wege Foundation.

What:
Crystal Lameman and others will spotlight the human and environmental impacts of tar sands mining, the largest industrial project in the world with devastating consequences for people from western Canada to Michigan and Ontario.

When:
Monday, April 18 through Friday, April 22, 2016.

Where:
7pm Monday, April 18.   Aamjiwnaang First Nation Community Center, 1972 Virgil Avenue, Sarnia, ON, CAN.   Contact:  Vanessa Gray 226-349-6073.

6:45pm Tuesday, April 19. New Mount Herman Baptist Church, 3225 S. Deacon Street, Detroit, MI.  Contact:  Rhonda Anderson 313-965-0052/Jan O’Connell 616-956-6646

10:15am Wednesday, April 20.  Native Rice Restoration with Lee Sprague, Michigan Native American.  Historic Bridge Park South Wattles Road, Battle Creek, MI.  Contact:  Lee Sprague 231-373-2457.

4pm Thursday, April 21. 20th Annual Wege Speaker Series with Crystal Lameman, Aquinas College Performing Arts Center, 1703 Robinson Road S.E., Grand Rapids.   Contact:  Jill Armstrong  616-862-5624

11:30pm-1pm Friday, April 22.  Grand Rapids Brewing Co., 1 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI. Lunch & Learn with Crystal Lameman. Doors open at 11:30am.  *Lunch not provided.  Contact Rachel Hood 616-822-0700

 

Background

Crystal Lameman is a member of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation, whose homeland is the site of the massive “tar sands” oil development in Alberta, Canada.

The indigenous people of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation live in an area of forest the size of Switzerland and, based on their Treaty of 1876, enjoy legal rights to hunt, fish and trap in their territory, as their ancestors have done for generations.

In 2008, the Nation launched a Treaty Rights litigation against the Canadian government, claiming that the 19,000+ fossil fuel projects in their territory violate their treaty rights and threaten to destroy their way of life by polluting and fragmenting the land and water that have sustained them for centuries. Lameman, who serves as the Intergovernmental Affairs and Industry Relations Treaty Coordinator and Communications Manager for the Nation, combines her academic background and her indigenous ways of knowing to articulate the devastating impacts of the largest industrial project in the world.

A  Newsweek cover story this month documented the scourge of asthma and other health impacts in southwest Detroit near the Marathon Petroleum Refinery.  Major public attention is also on the safety of the oil pipeline running underneath the Straits of Mackinac and to proposals to ship tar sands-derived oil on the Great Lakes.  Meanwhile, First Nation tribes have been protesting pollution from oil refineries in Sarnia, Ontario. Less attention has been paid to the environmental and human costs of tar sands production at the locations of the mines. Lameman will deepen the understanding of what is happening at the source as she speaks about her people’s fight for justice on the front lines.

Apr 05

MICATS Announces “Bike the Line”, Community Organizing Effort to Shut Down Line 5

We’re excited to announce our summer community organizing effort to help mobilize folks to #ShutDownLine5! We’re organizing a bike trip along the entire route of the Line 5 pipeline, a 750-mile stretch running from Marysville, Michigan to Superior, Wisconsin. It’s broken into two parts, with the Part 1 in the second half of May going from Marysville (near Sarnia) to about Reese (close to Bay City), and Part 2 running from early July to late August, going from Bay City all the way to Superior.

We’ll be hosting organizing community events along the way, and knocking on the doors of folks who live along the pipeline route to connect them with the issues surrounding Line 5. More info is available at biketheline.org. Also be sure to check out the Bike the Line Facebook Page.

There are so many ways you can get involved. You can bike with us for all or any part of the trip you are available to, or if you’re a community member who lives on or near the pipeline route, you can either help host an event along the route or host the riders for a night or two so they can get some rest. Or you can donate to support our work, or just spread the word.

#ShutDownLine5

Mar 29

Spring Fundraiser

Happy Spring!

While it may appear that we have been cats living in hibernation, we have been slowly and steadily chipping away to stop the transportation and refinement of tar sands in the Great Lakes region. A lot of our time has been put towards legal battles. We’re appealing the MI CATS 3’s Resisting & Obstructing (R&O) charge to the Michigan Supreme Court. The state has been coming down on “The Whammer” for his social media posts. And, though we can’t say too much just yet, we’ve been collaborating with some folks to put on epic bike tour this summer. Please consider throwing in some of that legal tender to help us continue the work we are doing.

MI CATS Bring R&O to the MI Supreme Court! & More! Direct link: https://www.everribbon.com/micats

MI CATS Bring R&O to the MI Supreme Court! & More!
Direct link: https://www.everribbon.com/micats

First, the MI CATS 3, three brave women who in July 2013 put their bodies on the line to halt construction on Enbridge tar sands pipeline 6B, are using an appeal to challenge the Resisting and Obstructing (R&O) law that was used to get them convicted of felonies. This is important because by using R&O to convict the MI CATS 3 with felonies for their non-violent act of civil disobedience, the State of Michigan is effectively equating a peaceful “no officer, I will not obey your orders to stop blocking the destruction wreaked by this corporation” with violently assaulting an officer. R&O is often used by the racist and classist legal system to bump minor drug or traffic violators up to felonious status. National Lawyers Guild (NLG) lawyers working with MI CATS are taking the Resisting & Obstructing Law to the Michigan Supreme Court! If the MI CATS 3 are acquitted of felony charges, that can no longer be used as leverage over them to continue restitution payments to the company that rebuilt Line 6B!

Additionally, we are supporting Chris Wahmhoff, the notorious 6B pipeline skateboarder. He is accused of violating probation. Among the 3 alleged violations, Chris was charged for exercising his First Amendment rights, when he wrote on his Facebook page that he wanted to ‪#‎ArrestGovSnyder‬ in regards to the Flint Water Crisis. Brazenly, he proclaimed “so when y’all are ready to march in and take his ass across the street I have my torch, I got warm socks. I’m waiting on y’all.”

Finally, we have an exciting, summer long bike ride against the flow of Enbridge Line 5 that we will be launching very soon. There will be many ways to take part, from bicycling with us, to organizing events and hosting riders. Stay tuned! Or, get in touch.

 

In the Spirit of Liberation,

MI CATS

Feb 03

Legal Update

Hello kitties. Yesterday was a busy day. Dylan and Vicci both had court dates for probation violation for failure to pay restitution. Chris has received a notice for a coming violation hearing.  Here are the updates:

Dylan, who along with Duncan stopped construction on the expansion of Enbridge Line 6B 7n 2014, was released from probation after completing a year. Of the $38,000 for restitution, he paid $30 in total. The restitution is meow a civil matter, he’s no longer at risk of going to jail for not paying restitution. We are very happy that he is free of papers and get can get back to the shenanigans.

Lisa and Vicci in Mason, MI at Vicci's probation violation hearing.

Lisa and Vicci in Mason, MI at Vicci’s probation violation hearing.

Vicci, one of our #micats3 who also halted construction of the same expansion project in 2013, had to go before a judge for resisting restitution for the last 2 years. Not wanting risk losing her 2  jobs and not being able to care for her grandchildren and sick mother, she agreed to pay $40 a month for 6 months and her probation is to continue until March 2018. While the first appeal was denied, she is heading to the Supreme Court for the next appeal. We will keep y’all updated as to when that will take place.

Chris, our skateboarding cat  is headed to court on February 22 @ 1:15pm for 3 counts of probation violation.

  • Count 1: At a restitution hearing held on 6/23/15 it was determined that the defendant owed $4,301.28. A judgement was ordered that the defendant pay $4,301.28 in restitution. The defendant has failed to pay any restitution owed to date.
  • Count 2: On 12/16/14 the defendant was ordered to submit to DNA testing. On 10/23/15 the defendant was given a copy of the DNA order and ordered to submit to testing. The defendant has failed to comply with his DNA testing order.
  • Count 3: On 1/27/16 the defendant displayed threatening behavior on social media (Facebook) when he responded to a posting pertaining to the Governor of Michigan hiring two public relations firm in lieu of hiring to restore the infrastructure to provide clean water for Flint when he stated “so when y’all are ready to march in and take his ass across the street I have my torch, I got warm socks. I’m waiting on y’all.”

 

Chris's probation violation letter

Chris’s probation violation letter

Phew … I need a cat nap! Just goes to show that what you say CAN and WILL be used against you. Thanks to all of the folks out there for continued support. Looking forward to the warmer weather and seeing many of you again. Keep loving, fighting and resisting!

Aug 12

Vice Documentary Oil & Water Exposes “The Keystone XL of the Midwest”

New documentary investigates

WASHINGTON – The world’s largest crude oil transporter has a secret buried deep in the Great Lakes: two unsupported, aging pipelines that transport 23 million gallons of crude oil every day through the largest freshwater system on earth.

In a new VICE Motherboard documentary released Tuesday, filmmaker Spencer Chumbley travels to Michigan to investigate accusations of secrecy and neglect aimed at Enbridge, the Canadian energy delivery company responsible for two 62-year-old pipelines stretching across the Straits of Mackinac. While Enbridge insists that the aging pipelines are secure and continuously maintained, many Midwest residents accuse the company of withholding valuable information from the public.

“Corporate transparency, not anti-petroleum activism, is really at the heart of this piece,” Chumbley says, “Many Michigan residents I spoke with had no idea Line 5 even existed, and those that did couldn’t access public information about the state of pipeline.”

Environmental scholars and activists also point out the company’s troubling record: more than 800 spills in North America between 1999 and 2010, releasing over 5 million gallons of oil. Enbridge is responsible for the 2010 Kalamazoo River spill, which released more nearly one million gallons of oil and is on record as the largest inland oil spill in American history.

“Enbridge pipelines are carrying oil through the largest freshwater system in the world,” Chumbley continues, “No one wants to see what happened in Kalamazoo happen in the Great Lakes.”

In the documentary, Chumbley speaks with regional experts in environmental awareness and conservation, including the National Wildlife Federation’s Andy Buchsbaum and the University of Michigan’s Dave Schwab. Chumbley also consults with Pipeline Safety Trust activist Beth Wallace before meeting with Enbridge representative Jason Manshum to discuss environmental remediation and institutional transparency.

View the documentary here:

For more information visit:
http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-aging-oil-pipelines-below-the-great-lakes

And to find out what you can do about this pipeline ticking time bomb, check out:
http://www.oilandwaterdontmix.org/new_documentary_exposes_enbridge_line_5

Aug 03

Water Reclamation from Mayor Duggan’s mansion!

Today, following our 3rd annual Rooting Resistance action camp, people from both Detroit and Michigan Coalitions Against Tar Sands (DCATS/MICATS) took water from Mayor Duggan’s residence, the Manoogian Mansion and redistributed it to residents facing water shutoffs. Folks attached a hose to the Mansion’s external spigot and filled jugs of water. Participants say they are taking today’s action because of Mayor Duggan’s refusal to support a “Water Affordability Plan”.

waterislife

“While real Detroiters live in a crisis, the Mayor lives in a city-owned Mansion. Today we’re forcing Mayor Duggan to share his water with the people of Detroit,” Said Detroit Resident Valerie Jean.

Following the water reclamation, an affinity group dropped a banner from an abandoned garage near Wayne State. The banner sent a strong message. If the wealthy continue to deprive people of life giving water, resistance will continue and escalate.

Dehydrate the D

It’s important to note that Marathon Refinery receives free water to refine tar sands from the Detroit River, which they contaminate beyond use.

As Detroit’s water crisis worsens community members are demanding the Mayor support a “Water Affordability Plan” adopted by the City Council in 2006. More than 40,000 households have had their water turned off, a crisis that has triggered a UN human rights investigation. However instead of dealing with the crisis, Mayor Duggan has chosen to arrest and prosecute community members who resist the shutoffs in an attempt to survive.

“Denying tens of thousands of people the right to water ought to be criminal, doing it while living in a publicly funded, city-owned mansion is just despicable” Said Jean

Activists point out that the Mayor’s current 10-point payment plan is woefully inadequate and fails to address the fundamental issue of unreasonably high water bills. In April an ACLU study showed that only 1.2% of Detroiters in the Mayor’s plan could pay their water bill, leaving 98.8% to default and face shutoff.

“Detroiters need a Water Affordability Plan to reduce bills and stop the shutoffs, not another failed payment plan,” Said Jean

Jun 29

Day of Action Against Bank of America’s Enbridge Investments!

IMG_1413
The Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands (MICATS), is currently taking action across the state to put pressure on Bank of America to drop their investment in notorious pipeline company Enbridge!

– In East Lansing protesters are slowing business by forming an endless line inside a bank branch. They will stop business-as usual by making miniscule transactions in-person with bank tellers for the remainder of the business day.
– In Detroit and Ann Arbor local MICATS organizers are delivering letters to bank managers and talking to them about their concern with investing in a deadly company like Enbridge!

waitiing cats

Bank of America, though claiming environmental and humanitarian concerns as a part of its ethics, continues to invest in the highly destructive and carbon emissive extraction of tar sands in Alberta, Canada on land stolen from indigenous groups. BOA owns substantial stock in Enbridge, the company responsible for the 2010 Kalamazoo River oil spill, the ageing Line 5 running under the Mackinaw Bridge that threatens to contaminate the Great Lakes, and the controversial Line 6b that has destroyed Michigan farmland in its stretch across the state. Enbridge in turn transports tar sands oil from Canada through Michigan to refineries farther south.

In May of this year, MICATS formally requested that Bank of America withdraw its investment from Enbridge. The request was made in the context of BOA’s divestment from all coal industry and citation of environmental sustainability as a corporate value earlier this year. However, MICATS received only a brief email which is a non-substantive response to the request.

enbridge cartoon
As concerned people on this planet, we are taking collective action to disrupt the actors that fund Enbridge and the tar sands. We are sending a message that funding climate change has to stop. That owning stock in indigenous genocide has to stop. That fueling the destruction of the planet has to stop.

NO TAR SANDS NO COMPROMISE!

Divest from Enbridge

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