STOCKBRIDGE — Twelve protesters who are part of the Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands were arrested today after a protest of the Enbridge 6B easement in rural Ingham County.
Eight protesters were arrested this morning by Ingham County Sheriff’s Office personnel, and police eventually arrested four others who had attached themselves in groups of two to two bulldozers.
It took authorities from the Michigan State Police and the Michigan State University Police Department around 90 minutes to detach the four people from the bulldozers, said Lt. Vern Elliott of the Ingham County Sheriff’s Department. Officers from the agencies used a saw to cut through the devices the protesters used to attach themselves to the bulldozers.
The entire extraction process was shielded to the protestors, public and media as all three agencies lined up their vehicles and pitched a tent to block the view of what was going on. It was done so tactical knowledge would not be given away, said Major Joel Maatman of the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office.
Elliott said all four people attached to the separate bulldozers were arrested and will be charged with obstruction and trespassing.
“Plus the company has to go through to make sure there wasn’t any damage of any of their machines,” Elliott said. “If that that’s the case, then there will be additional (charges)”
Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands is opposed to Enbridge’s ongoing project to widen and replace Line 6B — the controversial pipeline that ruptured in July 2010 and dumped 800,000 gallons of crude oil into a Kalamazoo River tributary near Marshall. The pipeline runs through a portion of Ingham County.
The group’s goal, according to its Facebook page, is to stop all transportation and refining of tar sands oil in Michigan and throughout the nation.
“I think it is a victory for us, we stopped construction for six to seven hours,” said Chloe Gleichman, the group’s spokeswoman. “We got a lot of media attention. We got our message out about how tar sands are destructive. Though our people got cut out and were arrested, we were able to do what we could.”