Today marked the final day in the two week-long marathon of tar sands pipeline protests outside the White House. In all, 1,252 scientists, authors, farmers, activists, students, grandmothers, indigenous people, religious leaders -- you name it -- were arrested out in front of Barack Obama's residence. The arrested include top NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen, actress Daryl Hannah, and the author Naomi Klein. Over 240 more were arrested today alone; organizers believe the Obama administration's decision to cancel the highly anticipated tightening of clean air standards helped drive the high turnout.
A rally marking the end of the weeks of protest was also held in Lafayette Square, drawing hundreds more. The day's events included speeches from Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein, some human aerial art, music, and plenty of good ol' fashioned call-and-response protest chanting from the crowd. Check out some video from the day's events below:
Here's an artist's attempt to orchestrate a 'human tar sands pipeline':
This too was a fun idea:
The goal of the event, in case you haven't been reading TreeHugger for the last two weeks, was to call on the administration to abandon plans to build a 1,700 mile pipeline that would transport extremely dirty tar sands oil from Canada to refineries along the Gulf Coast. The oil would then be sold on the global market.
Here's Bill McKibben, the author and environmental activist leader who spearheaded the event, addressing the crowd at the end of the rally:
All told, it was a fun, vibrant event that both galvanized environmentalists (whose spirits could surely use some lifting these days) and helped generate some oppositional momentum behind an issue most Americans had likely not even heard of before the week's activities. And it was generally un-hippie to boot!
Check out Tar Sands Action for more information on what might come next in the struggle against the Keystone XL ...