Last night, a group that identified themselves as ‘The People’ confronted Mark Andrew Maki, member of the Board of Directors for Enbridge Energy Company and president of subsidiary Enbridge Energy Management, at his home in Houston, Texas.
The action was taken in solidarity with the MI CATS 3 – Barb, Lisa, and Vicci – who, last Friday, were found guilty of trespassing and “resisting and obstructing an officer” following a July protest in which they shut down expansion of Enbridge’s tar sands pipelines. Enbridge, as the complainant in the case, testified against the MI CATS 3 and likely colluded with the state to ensure it would pursue the resisting and obstructing charge at the felony level instead of as a misdemeanor. Denied bail even though they are not considered flight risks, the three womyn are currently in jail awaiting sentencing on March 5th.
Enbridge profits from human and ecological suffering. Its business model is inherently racist and classist. Enbridge does business by contracting with shippers who destroy the Earth and poison First Nations communities, and with refiners willing to transform entire ecosystems into sacrifice zones and poison the communities–predominately people of color–who live in their shadows. Enbridge profits from expropriating land and putting local community health and safety at risk. No one wants rivers of poison flowing through their backyards, but Enbridge doesn’t care; it’s in the business of making money, not making people happy.
As a member of the Board of Directors, Mark Maki shapes the culture and direction of Enbridge; hence, the reckless criminality and depraved indifference exhibited by the corporation are the direct result of decisions he makes. Accordingly, if Enbridge decides to commit its resources towards the persecution and incarceration of peaceful protesters defending their homes, then The People are justified in holding him accountable for that decision.
The People challenged Mr. Maki on the ongoing cover-up of the 2010 Kalamazoo River spill in Michigan, which dumped over a million gallons of tar sands dilbit into the river in the largest inland oil spill in US history, Enbridge’s negligence with regards to the 18 people that died and countless others that were injured as a result of that spill, Enbridge’s role in fuelling the emissions that poison thousands of East End Houstonians every day, and the company’s role in sending a great-grandmother, a grandmother-to-be, and a young woman to jail for up to three years.
Throughout the confrontation, Mr. Maki denied the fact that any people died as a result of the Kalamazoo spill, held to the company line that Enbridge was compensating everyone who claimed damages from the spill, and showed no sympathy at all for the imprisoned MI CATS. Mr. Maki does not think environmental racism or tar sands exploitation intersect with his business. Not surprising, given that Enbridge pays him over $1.4 million annually to cover up their crimes and maximize their profit at the expense of the planet and all its inhabitants.
The stand-off came to an end when Mr. Maki disengaged, retreating into his fancy house without showing any sign of actually hearing The People’s concerns. Before leaving, one activist hopped on the bullhorn to wish Mark goodnight and assure him they’d meet again.
Check out the video:
Solidarity is a movement that refuses to back down in the face of repression.
For information about how to write a letter of support to the MICATS 3 or for other ways to support, check out their website: http://www.michigancats.org/free-the-felines/
Also, check out our open letter to the MICATS 3.
After the home demo, a “candlelight” vigil was held for the MI-CATS 3 at an entirely different location. There were never any torches at Mark Maki’s house; this photo was part of Monday’s nationwide candlelight vigil marking the release of an inadequate FEIS for KXL North – with a twist, to emphasize the struggles of communities already facing tar sands.