Led by experienced environmentalist and Founder of 350.org, Bill McKibben, more than 3,000 anti Tar Sands demonstrators gathered on Sunday in Washington DC to put pressure on America’s newly elected president to, once again, reject the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project.
Keystone XL is seen by many as a true test of Obama’s environmental ambitions and credibility, and like many others, this blog predicts that it will be of be one of his key battles during his next four years in office.
During the demonstration, protesters from 350.org’s Do the Math tour, The Sierra Club and Josh Fox, Director of the film Gasland, carried a 500 foot long ‘mock pipeline’ around the The White House, alongside placards of the recent, and now infamous, Obama quote: ‘’We want our children to live in an America that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.”
Sierra Club President, Allison Chin, said: “The President needs to know that the American people have his back on keeping Tar Sands crude out of America. In 2012 we’ve seen epic droughts and the Sandy superstorm—extreme weather delivering a loud and clear message that solutions to climate disruption can’t wait.’’
On Twitter, 350’s Online Campaigner Allyse Hartwell said: ‘’So inspired by all the folks in DC today. #NoKXL for reals’’
It’s not the first time 350.org have surrounded The White House in an anti Tar Sands protest; last year, another mass scale protest in the same spot is speculated to be one of the factors that contributed to Obama’s decision to eventually reject the Keystone XL pipeline.
|Tar Sands Blockade|
This year’s protest has gone even more mainstream, with Texan farmers against the (already underway) construction of the southern leg of Keystone XL, joining in. Their protest group, the Tar Sands Blockade, aim to protect threatened forest and land from the Keystone XL construction. Just this Monday, which was the group’s 57th day of holding up the construction, they were apparently subjected to aggressive pepper spraying by the police according to reports on their website.
350.org know this is going to be a long hard battle and have announced that this protest is simply the first in a series of actions promoting climate solutions and rejecting Tar Sands, Keystone XL, and other extreme oil sources, culminating in a major Washington rally on Presidents Day, February 18, 2013.