100s protest against Keystone pipeline

2014-03-03 11:18
A protestor is arrested as students demonstrate against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline in front of the White House. (Nicholas Kamm, AFP)

A protestor is arrested as students demonstrate against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline in front of the White House. (Nicholas Kamm, AFP)

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Cape Town - A new protest has erupted over the Keystone XL pipeline at the White House, with hundreds of students being arrested in what many media outlets are calling the biggest act of civil disobedience at the White House in this generation.

Many of the protestors believe the pipeline will have a damaging effect on climate change and will increase reliance on the fossil fuel industry.

350.org founder Bill McKibben, who is one of the US’s biggest campaigners against climate change and CO2 emissions stated that the weekend protest proved to be a pivotal moment in environmental justice.

Over a thousand students, who call themselves XL Dissent according to the Huffington Post, gathered in Lafayette Park to fight against the implementation of Keystone.

Keystone protest

Protesting began at Georgetown University, where Obama had previously promised to only implement Keystone if the pipeline did not increase greenhouse gas emissions drastically.

The students then moved towards the White House, stopping over at State Secretary John Kerry's house in order to stage a mock oil spill. Kerry has been urged to make a recommendation against the pipeline.

During speeches on how Keystone will affect the communities where the pipeline will be laid, various groups called for active support for three Micats (Michigan coalition against Tar Sands) protestors who were arrested for three years for taking direct action against the pipeline.

Jasmine Thomas the Youth indigenous leader spoke about the impact the mining will have on districts in Canada where the pipeline will begin.

Hundreds of students chained themselves to the White House fence, while others in hazmat suits slept on the ground in a mock oil spill while police closed of the area.

Keystone protest

Once arrested the students were taken to a local police detention centre, where they were fined and released. 70 000 people have already signed the Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance to show they will engage in civil disobedience if Obama agrees to the pipeline.

Many of the protestors voted for Obama and as such argue that he has a responsibility to listen to their needs rather than pandering to the fuel industry.

Read more on:    barack obama  |  us  |  climate change  |  green protests

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