Tag Archives: The Whammer

Michigan Tar Sands Pipeline Protester Could Get Two Years in Jail

2 Sep

remember-the-kalamazoo-signby John Upton / Grist

One oil spill in his community was more than enough for Kalamazoo resident Christopher Wahmhoff.

To protest Enbridge’s replacement of the pipeline that burst along a Michigan riverbank in 2010, Wahmhoff spent 10 hours of his 35th birthday inside the new pipe, slowing construction for a single day in June. [SeeActivist Has Climbed in Enbridge Tar Sands Pipe in Michigan” for the story.]

Now Wahmhoff, a member of the Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands [aka MI-CATS], has been charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor, charges that could see him put behind bars for more than two years.

“It was worth it, without a doubt,” he told the Battle Creek Enquirer on Tuesday following a preliminary hearing before a district judge. “We got awareness out.”

The prosecutorial overreaction is all the more striking because of the peacefulness of Wahmhoff’s protest. Though he refused to come out of the pipeline until 5 p.m., Sheriff Department Detective Steve Hinkley told the court, “He was very cooperative.”

Wahmhoff’s wrongdoings certainly pale in comparison to Enbridge’s. When the company’s improperly maintained pipeline ruptured in 2010, it led to the nation’s largest-ever onshore oil spill. More than a million gallons of goopy, toxic tar-sands oil spilled into the Kalamazoo River and a tributary, and up to 180,000 gallons are still contaminating the river bottom today. So who’s the criminal here?

BREAKING: Activist has Climbed Inside Enbridge Tar Sands Pipe in Michigan

24 Jun

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

Chris "The Whammer" at the pipe entrance.

Chris “The Whammer” at the pipe entrance.

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. 

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