200 Protesters Participate in Nationwide Actions Calling for Obama to Deny Permits for the Keystone XL

DENVER – Founding member of 350.org Bill McKibben has been heard in recent days on alternative media speaking especially about extreme weather events that have taken place in recent years.  The organization 350 first grabbed national attention though, in September of 2010 when 182 countries participated in global-wide actions to raise awareness about climate change.  IMG_6343

The oil industry in Canada backed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper is pressuring for the rapid expansion of tar sands oil extraction.  The pressure is calling for an increase from today’s 2 million barrels per day (BPD) to a goal of 6 million BPD by 2030 according to the organization 350.org that organized nationwide events on Saturday against the idea.  The Keystone XL Pipeline which is already under construction in several states of the US is the focus of heavy public opposition.  In February, The Nation Report brought you coverage of the Washington D.C. rally organized by 350 that drew tens of thousand of opponents to the pipeline and in April we brought you voices of those who attended a Department of Justice public forum in Nebraska where hundreds from across the country came to voice their opposition to pipeline construction.


IMG_6356 On June 25, 2013 at Georgetown University President Obama said in a speech that he would oppose the pipeline if it would “significantly” increase gas emissions.  It was this statement that gave activists the incentive to organize events across the country this weekend carrying symbolic papier-mache pipelines in cities such as Madison, Albuquerque, Boston, Nashville, Detroit and Houston.  And at Battery Park in Manhattan which was under water last December from hurricane Sandy, protesters used chalk to draw a line where projected sea level rise would be by 2100.  IMG_6359 More than 200 rallies in forty-nine states took place including in Alaska and also including here in Denver.  The rally began at the west steps of the state capitol where 200 people attended. The group left the capitol to march down the 16th Street Mall and winding around to the corporate offices of Suncorp.  The Suncorp Corporation refines tar sands oil and was the focus of a major leak of toxins into Sand Creek near the South Platte River over a year ago.IMG_6361 The final stop was the Canadian Embassy in downtown DenverIMG_6362

Currently indigenous nations are holding direct-action training’s around the country dubbed Moccasins on Ground that The Nation Report has covered and they say that they will participate in nonviolent civil disobedience to defend the earth against tar sands extraction and the pipeline. Other environmental groups such as Tar Sands Blockade and Michiana Coalition against Tar Sands are currently holding tree sits and blockades.  Last week members of Michiana reported three arrests at their blockade.
Refufia Gaintan/The Nation Report


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