Full-Time Work: North Dakota Pipeline Protesters Are Now Protesting In Michigan

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter
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People who spent their time protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline are now nearly 1,000 miles away protesting the operation of an entirely different pipeline.

Resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline attracted a massive amount of people. Thousands of protesters in 2016 congregated at the Standing Rock Native American reservation to voice their opposition to the crude oil line that runs across the Midwest. Their efforts, however, proved fruitless after President Donald Trump green-lighted construction of the pipeline immediately upon entering office. With their cause now over in North Dakota, some protesters have set up shop in Michigan, where another pipeline has drawn the ire of environmental activists.

Enbridge — an energy transportation company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta — owns and operates Enbridge Line 5, a pipeline that cuts through the Great Lake states as it transports petroleum from western Canada to the eastern part of the country. Given its presence between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, environmentalists have long called for Enbridge Line 5 to end. (RELATED: The Dakota Access Pipeline Is One Year Old And All We Got Was This Awesome Economic Growth)

“The goal is to shut it down,” Nancy Shomin stated to The Detroit Free Press. Joining a growing number of other protesters, she is working to take Enbridge Line 5 offline.

Shomin — who grew up in Michigan and is a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians — was involved in the 2016 Standing Rock protests in North Dakota, disrupting construction workers and even landing in jail for her activity.

Living in the same type of tents used in Standing Rock, the 54-year-old and a handful of others are now a part of a protest camp located at the very northern tip of Michigan’s lower peninsula. Amos Cloud, another Native American activist who was involved in Standing Rock, now leads the protest camp in Michigan. Cloud and other campers who believe the pipeline poses a grave risk to the Great Lakes say they will continue to camp out until Line 5 is closed down.

Campers and their supporters will host the fourth annual Pipe Out Paddle Protest on September 1. The protest will be a flotilla event where participants will gather in the water with numerous kayaks and other flotation devices in order to bring awareness to the issue. A subsequent Water is Life Festival will take place at a local park.

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