STOCKBRIDGE (WILX)-- Four protesters attached to construction equipment at an Enbridge Inc. construction site had to be cut out by police on Monday. No one was hurt, but the protesting in Stockbridge ended with a total of 12 arrests.
Most of the protesters were associated with the Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands. The four that had locked themselves to the construction equipment had their arms stuck in specially designed tubes. Specialty teams from Michigan State University, and Michigan State Police had to be called to the scene to safely remove the protesters from the devices.
"All four (tubes) were made differently. Basically they used a tube to stick their arms into it, and have handles inside to make it difficult to get out," said Lt. Vern Elliott with the Ingham Co. Sheriffs Dept.
It took a total of six hours to remove all the protesters from the property. Each arrested protester will be charged with trespassing.The four that locked themselves to the equipment will also be charged with resisting and obstruction, said Lt. Elliott.
Endbridge Inc. spokesperson Jason Manshum says the company is still deciding if it would like to press charges as well.
"If we find in our inspections that any of our equipment has been tampered with or vandalized we will be prosecuting these protesters to the fullest extent," said Manshum.
The Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands isn't done with it's protesting said spokesperson Chloe Gleichman, but she couldn't say when or where their next protest will be.
"Endbridge cannot be trusted. They lie, cheat, and do whatever they can to benefit the bottom line. Enbridge should have been expecting this."
In fact Endbridge Inc. had been expecting a protest, but didn't know exactly when or where it would happen. For a few weeks before the protest Endbridge preemptively increased security around the Stockbridge pump site and construction site, said Manshum. Ingham County Sheriffs Department also had officers checking up on the property from time to time.
"After this we will have to enhance security again," said Manshum.
The protesters goal is to ultimately bring the construction of the Enbridge pipe line 6B to a halt. Gleichman says what happened in Stockbridge is just a small example of what they're willing to do.
"It's really a beautiful thing, and it's done out of compassion and love," said Gleichman.