This Sunday hundreds of protesters of the Keystone XL pipeline were arrested for strapping themselves to the White House fence. This peaceful protest of over 1,200 participants was intended to be a message to President Obama to put an end to the creation of the pipeline.
The Group of over 1,200 demonstrators was comprised of a majority of college students from several universities in the United States. The protesters organized their rally by means of websites 350.org and the Energy Action Coalition.
The protesters who were making a stand against the creation of the Keystone XL pipeline started their protest efforts at Georgetown University. From there, the demonstrators then marched as a group to the White House where police officers were waiting for them. Well informed of the size of this protest, security had buses on stand-by to transport demonstrators who would be facing arrest for their actions.
Once the group of demonstrators reached the White House hundreds strapped themselves to the White House fence with plastic handcuffs and cable ties, which caused their arrest.
Others, who were dressed in an all white jumpsuits, splattered themselves with black paint and sat on a black tarp in front of the protestors strapped to the fence. These demonstrators symbolized an oil spill, which they foresee happening if the Keystone XL pipeline project moves forward. Another environmental concern the protestors were trying to voice was that greenhouse gas emissions contributing to global warming will increase if Obama puts the plan to build the Keystone XL pipeline into action. As the protesters stood strapped to the fence or sitting on a tarp they all chanted phrases including “climate justice now” or “There is now planet B” regarding to the negative outcomes that they assert the Keystone Xl pipeline will have on the environment.
Due to the peaceful protest which happened on March 2, 2014 over 200 demonstrators were arrested.
The proposed Keystone XL pipeline extension project would involve the creation of a 1,664 mile channel used to transport mass quantities of crude oil. The estimated 830,000 barrels of crude oil daily that would be transported by this pipeline would travel from Alberta, Canada to Texas where the oil would be treated in refineries. The pipeline would act as an extension of the already existing TransCanada pipeline which was created in 2013.
Protestors are concerned about the damage that the pipeline will have on the environment, including an increase in greenhouse gas emissions and an overall negative contribution to global warming and climate change. The demonstrators are also in opposition to the Keystone XL extension due to the amount of states and landscape that the project will cover. They have concerns that the creation of the pipeline will cause damage to the various environments all along the proposed pipeline’s path, including but not limited to the possibility of oil spills.
Hundreds of protesters were arrested for strapping themselves to the White House fence while demonstrating their opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline extension. A final decision has not been given regarding the pipeline’s creation, officials predict that a decision will be made by Obama in the coming months.
By Allison Longstreet