UPDATE: Chris has been arrested and is in need of bail funds. Please donate to his bail fund here.
by Rabb!t / Earth First! Newswire
Early this morning Chris “The Whammer” Wahmoff climbed inside a segment of Enbridge’s Line 6B Pipe south of Marshall, Michigan, to halt reconstruction of the line. Chris used a skateboard to slide-crawl his way deep into the pipe, where he has said he is prepared to stay until at least 5:00 PM tonight. Chris is part of the Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands (MI-CATS), a grassroots group that seeks to stop all transportation and refining of tar sands in Michigan, and advocates against tar sands production and transportation everywhere.
Chris is positioned less than half a mile from where the Enbridge Line 6B pipeline broke in 2010, spilling bituminous sands oil into the Kalamazoo River. The oil was being transported through the pipeline from Canada to the United States. Recent water samples have shown that the river is still contaminated, some three years after the spill occurred, yet Enbridge is already at work reconstructing this stretch of the line. Chris’s action is an attempt to halt construction, and bring attention to the fact that Enbridge is moving on with this dangerous project without having cleaned up the spill from the previous line.
Police and firefighters are on the scene, but are reportedly having a difficult time figuring out how to remove Chris from the pipe. Fire fighters have said they are worried about Chris getting enough oxygen, and have a fan blowing into the pipe to give him fresh air.
MI-CATS has been able to stay in contact with Chris, who is doing fine and has plenty of food and water.
MI-CATS is holding an action camp in Southwest Michigan from July 19 – 22 to gather support and stop tar sands. Check out their facebook page here to get involved. You can also donate to their wepay here.
P.S. Today is also Chris’s 35th birthday. Happy Birthday, Chris!
UPDATE 12:28 PM: Here is Chris’s statement about the action:
I, Chris Wahmhoff, write this personal statement of civil disobedience, on june 24th, 2013. This is also my 35th birthday, and wish for a future for my friends, family, and their children. I wish that as we are taken to jail, someone else will rise and proclaim, China’s oil will not pass through 6b any longer.
I beg in this statement that people do not listen to what they are told, including myself. But learn for themselves how many have died. Learn that they made laws like H.B.5555, to hide that people get hurt, that with fracking and this gas and oil extraction harms us all.
I give my freedom and am willing to give everything to ask you loud enough to simply beg “Please, help us.” My birthday wish is help for my community from the people, not the politicians, corporations, and large NGO’s who want money for themselves.