Final Day Of Keystone XL Protest: Over 1,000 Arrested


Today marks the final day of the Tar Sands Action, a two week-long protest of the Keystone XL oil pipeline that took place outside the White House in Washington, D.C.

Although the State Department gave the project it’s approval just days into the protest, the enthusiasm of the protesters did not waver. As of Saturday morning, the total arrest count reported by was 1,009, with at least 200 arrests expected today.

“Given yesterday’s baffling cave on ozone standards, the need for a fighting environmental movement has never been more clear,” said Bill McKibben, who is spearheading the protest. “That movement is being born right here in front of the White House and reverberating around the country.”

The proposed 1,700 mile Keystone XL pipeline would carry dirty tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. A rupture in the pipeline could cause a BP style oil spill in America’s heartland, over the source of fresh drinking water for 20 million people. NASA’s top climate scientist says that fully developing the tar sands in Canada would mean “essentially game over” for the climate.

A diverse collective of activist groups have spoken out against the Keystone XL pipeline, including youth leaders, religious leaders, environmentalists and the presidents of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) and the Transport Workers Union (TWU).

McKibben challenged President Obama to show the dedicated protesters the same courtesy he showed to Chamber of Commerce by walking across Lafayette Square to meet them and listen to their concerns:

Maybe tomorrow you could take the time to walk half that far, to see a big cross-section of us, many of who worked to get you elected. We’ve conducted the largest civil disobedience protest in many years on your front door for the last two weeks, with more than a thousand Americans from every state in the union getting arrested. The only response we’ve heard from the White House is your press secretary saying he had chosen not to discuss our action with you.

You alone will get to make the choice of whether to grant a “presidential certificate of national interest” to this project. We hope you’ll join us to hear our assessment of the project. We don’t have as much money as the Chamber of Commerce, but maybe that shouldn’t always be the deciding factor.

Click on the thumbnails below to view more images from this historical act of civil disobedience.

Related Reading:

Canadian Government Says Emissions From Tar Sands Could Double

State Department Ignores Risks, Approves Keystone XL Pipeline

Youth Leaders Demand Justice As Keystone XL Protest Continues

Keystone XL Protest Update: Over 500 Arrested [Video]

Image Credit: Flickr – tarsandsaction


William C
William C2 years ago

Thank you.

W. C
W. C2 years ago


Duane B.
.6 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Carole R.
Carole R7 years ago

You are waging the good fight. Bravo!

Sonny Honrado
Sonny Honrado7 years ago


Alicia N.
Alicia N7 years ago

Greed has no limits............
Let's keep signing let's keep protesting. Sadly noted.

Steve Solo
Steve Solo7 years ago

Ok I've had enough following this online I want to be arrested by Obama's goons I want to be COUNTED a martyr for the cause against big oil control... to that I say F0CK Y0U BIG 0IL raise the price... chase me around through the woods as I ride my solar bike to Washington and release my 2 doves on the wyte house lawn... I want to pee on the tree just outside of Obama's office .. then you can arrest me or you can just send me a registered letter saying that I am unPatriotic or something idiotic like.. I don't agree with USACorp politics ... so man the borders here I come .. (of course this is all humourfull banter)

Ellen Mccabe
Ellen m7 years ago on. Your right about that..i've already pointed out China IS heavily invested in this, giving financial help they had stupidly hoped would stay under wraps.
Decimating Canada & the US, with a major percentage of the oil going to them.
Its as bad as us starting war on foriegn soil on trumped up reason with the same has to end.
The patriot act is being used to protect not us, but big corporations now.
With 9/11 just days away, its now time for people to reflect on how much impact oil played in the culmination of that day, and what othet horrows lay in store for us from that same insane dependence.

Lisa W.
Lisa W7 years ago

Matthew, a 300 page document known as the Patriot Act, which took away our right to free speech (if it's against a government official) and freedom to assemble (if it's near a government official). Convenient, eh?

Lisa W.
Lisa W7 years ago

“Given yesterday’s baffling cave on ozone standards, the need for a fighting environmental movement has never been more clear." Here's why he caved:

China is already heavily invested in this project. One wonders to whom the oil will go...the US or China?