September 4th, 2011 by Kate Follot
On September 3rd, hundreds of people gathered in Lafayette Park for the final day of the rally against the Tar Sands at the end of the two week sit down protest at the White House. An estimated 1252 people were arrested during this two week continuous peaceful protest, making it the largest collective act of civil disobedience in the U.S. in decades.
On September 3rd alone, 244 brave souls were arrested as crowds cheered in support of the protestors in between chants and songs. A few hundred yards away, at a small stage, speeches were made by a wide variety of activists including Bill McKibben (creator of the organization 350), indigenous leaders from Canada, and Rev. Mari Castellanos, from the group Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light. The petition with 617,428 names urging President Obama to deny the pipeline permit was also delivered.
The wide variety of groups and individuals fighting against this pipeline is nothing short of extraordinary. People from all walks of life and from Conservative, Liberal, and Independent parties have been brought together to demand that our president say ‘No.’ It also reminds us that no matter who we are, what our job is (if we’re lucky enough to have one), where we’re from, what our hobbies are… doesn’t matter — we are ALL people who will have either ourselves or our children on this earth in the future. It’s our moral responsibility to take care of our world. One of my favourite Native American proverbs is: “Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors; we borrow it from our Children.”
BUT, the fight isn’t over yet! Please contact the President and urge him to say no to this destructive pipeline and yes to renewable energy like wind and solar power!
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
It’s imperative that we spread this as much as we can. Invite all your friends to go to Tarsandsaction.org, encourage them to look around and to contact the President on this urgent matter — each and every person counts, and we couldn’t do this without you!
Also, if you happen to be in the Philadelphia area, or are able to travel there, go to Shalegasoutrage.org and support the east’s coast’s fight against oil! There will be a rally and demonstration, followed by a march in Philadelphia during the Marcellus Shale Coalition’s conference.
Along with all the major environmental groups, many other groups were involved and supportive of the protest against the Keystone XL pipeline. These included: US Climate Action Network, Institute for Policy Studies, Clean Air Watch, Credo Mobile, Healthcare-NOW!, Rainforest Action Network, Hip-Hop Caucus, Public Citizen, The Shalom Center, and 350.org.
Check out more here: Courage in DC — and what comes next.
Image via 350.org
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