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Keystone XL Protest Continues At White House, Over 250 Arrested

Keystone XL Protest Continues At White House, Over 250 Arrested

 

It is now day five of a two week-long protest of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, and approximately 275 people have been arrested for their participation in what is being called the largest act of civil disobedience in the environmental movement’s recent history.

The sit-in is a strategic event designed to raise awareness of the environmental impacts of the Keystone XL, a pipeline that transports tar sands oil, a particularly dirty and corrosive type of heavy crude, from Canada to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries.

Bill McKibben, renowned climate activist and one of the protest’s organizers, was arrested on Saturday. McKibben and others were charged with “failure to obey a lawful order” and taken to Anacostia Station to be processed.

From behind bars, McKibben issued the following statement:

“Hello everyone! We don’t need sympathy, we need company. It’s clear to us that police were hoping to deter this action, and it’s equally clear to us the opposite will be the result.

“I’m looking forward to seeing everybody over the next two weeks. It has been a little hot here in central cell block, but not as hot as it will be if we don’t stop this project. People here have been in good spirits, and there has been a great deal of learning. We are thinking ahead to this weekend to share stories about Dr. King and freedom movement.

“Even though uncomfortable, this experience has given us a greater sense of that part of history. Come on in, the water is fine.”

McKibben and the others originally believed that they would be able to pay a $100 fine and get out of jail the same day, however the the US Park Police decided to hold the protesters for 48 hours.

As another 56 people headed to jail today, leaders of groups as diverse as Greenpeace and the Environmental Defense Fund told the president, “there is not an inch of daylight between our policy position on the Keystone XL pipeline, and those of the protesters being arrested daily outside the White House.”

In a letter released Wednesday, these groups made it clear they counted on President Obama to take decisive action to block the pipeline. “We expect nothing less,” they said, describing the pipeline battle as “perhaps the biggest climate test you face between now and the election” and adding that denying the permit would trigger a “surge of enthusiasm from the green base that supported you so strongly in the last election.”

The leaders cited dangers to the climate, the risks of disastrous spills and leaks, and the economic damage that will come from continued dependence on fossil fuel in their letter, concluding, “this is a terrible project.”

The protest in Washington, D.C. is scheduled to continue until September 3rd. Oil Change International is currently collecting donations that will be used to reimburse activists directly for expenses relating to the protests, including travel, lodging, and legal fees. Please click here if you’d like to contribute.

Related Reading:

Dozens Arrested In Pipeline Protest

Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline Could Be Used To Remove Water

Environmental Leaders Encourage Civil Disobedience To Stop Keystone XL Pipeline

Canadian Government Says Emissions From Tar Sands Could Double

Image Credit: Flickr – tarsandsaction

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57 comments

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10:22AM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

how come they are arresting these peaceful protesters.

4:43AM PDT on Aug 27, 2011

"In a letter released Wednesday, these groups made it clear they counted on President Obama to take decisive action to block the pipeline.".......................

I was trying to remember what decisive action Obama has taken.....

and it was hard to think of one....................

His "actions" regarding the environment and wildlife has been no action..........................

We should have had our first clue when he chose Ken Salazar.

THEY SHOULD HAVE NEVER GIVEN HIM THE NOBEL PRIZE........SHAME ON ALL OF THEM!

10:15PM PDT on Aug 26, 2011

I'm proud of them. I heard McKibben speak a year ago, and his facts on global warming are accurate and make one really understand what is happening to this earth, the only home we've got. The tar sands oil is worse than the usual production of oil, using inordinate amounts of water to extract it. Civil disobedience is a citizen's duty when government does not do its job.

3:43PM PDT on Aug 26, 2011

AT you home, please will you build solar and wind so no person will use the pipeline.

3:41PM PDT on Aug 26, 2011

Thanks for the info.

4:41AM PDT on Aug 26, 2011

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Keystone XL Protest Continues At White House, Over 250 Arrested

* by Beth Buczynski
* August 24, 2011
* 10:59 am

51 comments Keystone XL Protest Continues At White House, Over 250 Arrested

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I want to know why they weren't issued a permit to demonstrate???
It is now day five of a two week-long protest of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, and approximately 275 people have been arrested for their participation in what is being called the largest act of civil disobedience in the environmental movement’s recent history.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/keystone-xl-protest-continues-at-white-house-over-250-arrested.html#ixzz1W8O4QRB9

10:05PM PDT on Aug 25, 2011

Robert O., the fact is we have to stop using oil. For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction....aside from the pollution has anyone ever stopped to think that perhaps that oil was in the earth for another reason? Ballast perhaps? We are on such a path to completely screwing up everything. I don't really care as my husband and I saw all this coming back in the 70's and chose not to have kids.

However, my biggest problem with this is since when is freedom of speech and peaceful demonstration illegal? Why are they trumping up reasons to arrest people? That is extraordinarily scary and EVERYONE should be concerned about that.

7:17PM PDT on Aug 25, 2011

The Bill of Rights is a Bill of Sale. Kudos to these protesters for exercising their rights.

6:46PM PDT on Aug 25, 2011

If it isn't in BIG MONEY'S interest, protests are illegal

4:54PM PDT on Aug 25, 2011

What about the pipe Robert O. You can't deny that a 1700 mile long ugly pipe from Canada to Texas will have leaks in the future, probably in our rivers and water suppy. How about the poor landowners who will have their land taken by eminent domain by the government to allow this ugly pipe to cross. How about the pollution from the Tar Sands extraction process, as well as the Global Warming pollution from the use of oil. We can move to electric cars as an alternative and generate our electricity from solar and wind power. It's time we move away from fossil fuels into clean alternative energy. Global warming is destroying our planet, and we need clean alternative energy now.

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