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Health, Science and Environment

Anishinaabe Tribal members protest Line 5 in Mackinaw City

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Great Lakes Today
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Anishinaabe Tribal members led a protest of Line 5 today in Mackinaw City.

It comes as Enbridge Energy continues to operate the oil and gas pipeline a day after Governor Whitmer ordered it to be shut down.

The demonstrators made a two mile march this morning from Mackinaw City to McGulpin Point, where Enbridge has a pumping station. 

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered around a barbed wire fence and posted a symbolic eviction notice.

Sean McBrearty, a member of the environmental group "Oil and Water Don’t Mix", read the notice to the demonstrators.

“Concerned citizens of Michigan direct Enbridge, a foreign oil company, to immediately abandon operating Line 5 pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac," McBrearty said.

One protestor, Beth Wallace, came up from Battle Creek, near the site of a 2010 Enbridge oil spill which pumped about a million gallons of crude in the Kalamazoo River.

“The river was closed down for years – no one could even touch that river," Wallace said. "If you can imagine that happening [in the Straits of Mackinac], it’d destroy our economy immediately and for years to come".

Michigan GOP lawmakers are frustrated with the Governor’s order, saying that shutting down Line 5 isn’t realistic.

State Representative John Roth from Traverse City calls Governor Whitmer’s attempts to shut down Line 5 the wrong move, and that it would have a big impact on jobs and resources throughout the state.

Enbridge Energy says they will continue to run the pipeline for now.