As many as 60 protestors targeted the home of Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, screaming vulgarities, ignoring police instructions, and vandalizing the lawn, driveway, and house last week.
The protestors, who demanded the closure of a 63-year-old oil pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac, came from Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands, as well as the extremist environmental group Earth First!
The attorney general’s office called most of them “professional protestors,” saying that their cars bore almost exclusively out-of-state license plates.
A video of the protests, posted by MI CATS, shows “pipes spill” written on the driveway in sticky chocolate syrup; it required a high-pressure hose to clean it up. Protestors also smeared syrup on the windows, toilet-papered the trees, and spilled glitter on the lawn. They littered the lawn with cardboard tombstones, including one that said, “RIP Great Lakes Wildlife.”
The attorney general, who is on a review committee for Line 5, was out of town when the protestors showed up. But his wife was home, and they rattled her.
“Based on how violent the beating of the front door sounded from inside, Mrs. Schuette believed during the attack that the goal was to break the front door down,” the attorney general’s spokeswoman told the Detroit News.
Rusty Hills, a senior adviser to the attorney general, told local media, “These are professional protestors really just coming to intimidate a good mom, a wife, a spouse.”
The video by MI CATS was edited, cutting out as protestors approach the front door. An MI CATS news release says: “Frida, a resident of Michigan present at the protest, commented on the escalation of tactics. ‘If public officials continue to threaten our safety, then we will continue to threaten their security.’”
The video shows protestors banging on drums, playing the accordion, and chanting, “F–k Line 5!”
Later in the video, police warn them that they’re in violation of a noise ordinance, also telling them to stay on the sidewalk because the lawn is private property.
“There’s only two of them!” someone yells in response, initially ignoring the police instructions and trampling the lawn. They resume chanting “f–k Line 5,” returning to the sidewalk only when more police arrive.
Police made no arrests but said that they were still investigating the vandalism.
— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.