A water protest was held Saturday against Enbridge Line 5 drew nearly 300 people to the Mackinac Straits, many navigating canoes and kayaks along the Mackinac Bridge and carrying colorful banners, chanting “shut down Line 5.”
Speaking at a press conference following the large protest flotilla, Michigan tribal leaders, political candidates and elected officials, called on Gov. Snyder and other elected officials to decommission Line 5, with one lawmaker noting this is the fourth year protesters have taken to the water in support of shutting down the 65-year-old pipeline.
“Every year we join here together to call for the decommissioning of Line 5,” said State Rep. Yousef Rabhi(D-Ann Arbor). “Well, enough is enough.”
“This is going to spill, it’s imminent,” said Aaron Payment, chairman of the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians. “A spill would decimate the whitefish herd and people have been fishing in this community since the time Jesus Christ walked the earth.”
Payment was sharply critical of Gov. Snyder: “The same governor who allowed those children in Flint to be poisoned has been derelict on the Line 5 issue.”
Fred Harrington, tribal counsel for the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa, noted that Line 5 doesn’t just pose a threat to the Mackinac Straits but crosses many Michigan rivers and other waterways.
Harrington expressed disappointment that political leaders have failed to act on Line 5, saying the “people that matter just don’t listen.”