NEW YORK – At noon today over 100 people mostly dressed in blue gathered at Battery Park to participate in one of over 200 locations across the US to hold actions against the Keystone XL Pipeline. Carrying signs, banners, and a 36-foot symbolic pipeline, the groups marched to South Street Seaport but not before listening to Josh Fox, director of two Gasland movies about the dangers of fracking, author Bill Hewitt, City Councilwomen Gail Brewer and Helen Rosenthal, Sean Sweeney of the Cornell Global Labor Institute, and a performance by Jonny Dubowky. Group sponsors included 350.orgNYC, 350.orgNJ, Occupy the Pipeline, United for Action, Food & Water Watch, Greater NYC for Change, Global Kids, Credo, NYSNA, Sane Energy, System Change Not Climate Change and a coalition of New York environmental groups.
In lower Manhattan the group drew a chalk line across a part of lower Manhattan marking the projected sea level rise by 2100. Twelve-year old Sofia came to the event and said that she hopes that the pipeline won’t be built, “I hope that there’ll be more global awareness and people will try to conserve more and gradually change to renewable resources. All my friends know that climate change is real but people are like yeah, climate change is real but I’m just going to sit back and let other people fix it.”
The national day of action was said by organizers to send a message to President Obama to deny the permit for Keystone XL tar sands pipeline in the most widespread day of action to date in their campaign to stop the project. Other fossil fuel companies in Manhattan’s financial district were not exempt from a visit from protestors including Spectra and Rockaway Pipelines and the proposed Port Ambrose liquified natural gas terminal.
The day of action dubbed “Draw the Line” targeted “descructive extraction and pipeline projects that contribute to climate change, rising sea levels, and ongoing financial and social costs in our region” according to 350.org New York. Actions along the route included street theater, puppetry, song and chant, and a project of street theater by Radical Art Initiative that demonstrated visually the expanding flood areas of lower Manhattan.
Anastasio Castrita/The Nation Report