More than 40 protestors assembled on the Detroit Riverwalk Wednesday morning to call on the Canadian government to support Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in seeking to decommission the Enbridge Line 5 oil pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac. The Detroit protest—staged near the Canadian consulate—occurred in solidarity with simultaneous demonstrations across the Detroit River in Windsor, Ontario, as well as in Chicago and Milwaukee. At each protest site, organizers sent Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau jars of fresh Great Lakes water as a symbol of what’s at risk if Line 5 continues to operate.
Speakers at the Detroit protest included Sean McBrearty from the Oil & Water Don’t Mix campaign, Christy McGillivray from Sierra Club, Jamie Simmons from Michigan Climate Action Network, and Andrea Pierce from the Michigan Democratic Party’s Anishinaabek Caucus and Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians.
“Michigan and independent researchers have studied this intensively and shutting down the Line 5 pipeline without replacing it is feasible. It’s the only way to truly protect our Great Lakes and it’s the only way forward at this point in the climate crisis,” Simmons said.