Surrounding the White House

by Milan on November 6, 2011

in Activism, Climate change, Oil sands

Right now, protestors opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline are surrounding the White House, in Washington DC:

For more information, see: Tar Sands Action.

See also:

[Update: 8:45pm] My friend Rebeka, who was actually at the event today, tells me that the ring of people around the White House was even larger than I thought:

The organizers estimate that 12,000 people participated, based on this sampling methodology. Comparable numbers have been reported in the media.

Report a typo or inaccuracy

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

. November 6, 2011 at 3:28 pm

TransCanada Pipeline Foes Seek Thousands at White House Protest

Nov. 6 (Bloomberg) — An Academy Award nominee, a Nobel laureate and thousands of protesters plan to encircle the White House urging President Barack Obama to reject TransCanada Corp.’s planned oil pipeline across six states, organizers say.

Mark Ruffalo, who vied for this year’s best supporting actor Oscar, and Jody Williams, winner of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize, are among celebrities scheduled to speak today against the Keystone XL project, which would carry crude from Canadian oil sands to refineries along the Gulf of Mexico. Coordinators, including Tar Sands Action and the Sierra Club, said they’ll ask the crowd to take up places outside the White House fence.

Pipeline opponents say extracting crude from sand emits three times more carbon than conventional oil production, contributing to global warming that Obama pledged to fight. They say their protest in Washington reflects public anger at corporate greed, likening it to the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations.

. November 6, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Keystone XL Protest At The White House (LIVE VIDEO)

Thousands of protesters have gathered on Sunday in D.C. to fight the Keystone XL pipeline. Their plan is to surround the White House and hold hands, asking President Obama to reject the proposed pipeline.

. November 6, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Critics of Keystone Pipeline Deal Surround The White House

The proposed pipeline would ship oil derived from Canadian tar sands all the way to the Gulf Coast, unless a opponents sway Obama to block it.

The Atlantic has a very handy run-down of the Keystone XL proposal, and the reasons for its opponents fervor. They include local fears about contamination and spills, especially in Nebraska, where people opposed to the pipeline say spills are inevitable, would do damage to businesses and farmland, and could threaten the massive Ogallala Aquifer, which supplies the region with drinking water.

Milan November 6, 2011 at 3:50 pm
. November 6, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Thousands in D.C. protest pipeline

(CBS/AP)

WASHINGTON – Thousands of protesters circled the White House this afternoon to show their in opposition to the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project.

The demonstration is the latest in a series of White House protests aimed at convincing U.S. President Barack Obama to block the $7 billion project that would carry Alberta oilsands crude through six American states to Gulf Coast refineries.

The Obama administration is currently weighing whether to give the green light to the project.

Milan November 6, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Here is a photo by Shadia Fayne Wood showing the ring in front of the White House.

. November 6, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Pipeline protesters to hold hands, encircle White House
By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) — Protesters plan to hold hands and encircle the White House on Sunday to demand President Barack Obama reject a proposed oil pipeline that would stretch from Canada through Texas.

Obama has implied he may weigh in on whether to allow construction of the 1,700 mile oil pipeline, which is at the center of a bitter environmental battle.

Critics say despite additional jobs, it threatens to poison groundwater resources, though the pipeline operator TransCanada maintains it will include safeguards to protect people and property.

“Folks in Nebraska, like folks all across the country, aren’t going to say to themselves, ‘We’re going to take a few thousand jobs if it means our kids are potentially drinking water that would damage their health,” Obama told CNN affiliate KETV in Omaha last week.

“When somebody gets sick, that’s a cost that society has to bear as well. So these are all things that you have to take a look at when you make these decisions.”

. November 6, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Thousands surround the White House to protest TransCanada pipeline
By Lee-Anne Goodman, The Canadian Press | November 06, 2011

WASHINGTON – Thousands of protesters, including a Nobel laureate and a movie star, marched around the White House on Sunday in opposition to TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline.

The demonstration is the latest in a series of White House protests aimed at convincing U.S. President Barack Obama to block the $7 billion project that would carry Alberta oilsands crude through six American states to Gulf Coast refineries.

Mark Ruffalo, nominated for an Academy Award last year, and Jody Williams, winner of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for her work on banning landmines, were among a sea of protesters who marched along several city blocks before joining hands to surround the White House. Police on the scene estimated the crowd was about 5,000- strong.

. November 6, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Thousands protest at White House over oil pipeline

WASHINGTON – Thousands of activists opposed to a plan to build a 1,700-mile oil pipeline that cuts through the heart of the United States descended on the White House on Sunday to ratchet up the pressure on President Obama to scrap the project.

The protest of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline came exactly one year before the 2012 election and was designed to send a message to Obama that failure to act will lead to a drop-off in enthusiasm from the environmentalists who backed him in 2008.

The project pits environmentalists against Republicans and many top labor groups — with both sides suggesting that the president will pay politically if he doesn’t side with them. Backers of the project say the pipeline will create thousands of jobs and help reduce U.S. dependence on Middle Eastern oil.

. November 6, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Ten thousand turn up for largest yet Keystone XL protest

By Sheldon Alberts
Postmedia News Washington Correspondent

WASHINGTON — The last time John Adams was at the White House, in February, Barack Obama presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work protecting America’s environment.

Mr. Adams came back on Sunday without a formal invite, joining several thousand other activists to rally against Calgary-based TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL oilsands pipeline.

In the largest demonstration to date against the proposed 2,700-kilometre pipeline, anti-Keystone XL protesters surrounded the White House — parading down Pennsylvania Avenue down to the South Lawn and around the other side — to demand Obama deny TransCanada a permit to go ahead with the project.

“We want him to make the call. He’s the man. He has to make the call,” said Mr. Adams, a co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

. November 6, 2011 at 10:50 pm

12,000 Encircle White House In Protest of Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline

Today, more than 12,000 people from across the United States and Canada gathered at the White House to call on President Obama to stop the TransCanada Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. After a rally in Lafayette Square addressed by elected officials, youth climate activists, environmental leaders, climate scientist James Hansen, religious leaders, Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams, Naomi Klein, and local opponents of the pipeline from South Dakota, Texas, and Nebraska, the boisterous crowd formed a human chain that completely encircled the White House. The protest, organized by Tar Sands Action, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, 350.org, and others, appeared to exceed turnout expectations, with the human chain running several people deep in most areas. President Obama acknowledged last week that he will make the final decision on the controversial pipeline — a decision expected before year’s end.

. November 7, 2011 at 12:32 am

Keystone pipeline decision could be delayed until after election

The project has left Obama trapped between environmentalists who oppose it and unions who back it because it would create jobs.

. November 7, 2011 at 12:37 am

Embracing the old adage that all politics is local, Barack Obama is putting the people of Nebraska front and centre in the bitter Keystone XL pipeline debate.

“Folks in Nebraska, like all across the country, aren’t going to say to themselves, ‘We’ll take a few thousand jobs if it means our kids are potentially drinking water that would damage their health,’” the U.S. President said last week.

. November 7, 2011 at 12:37 am
. November 7, 2011 at 12:59 am

Opponents to TransCanada Corp’s (TRP.TO) Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport crude produced from oil sands, have dogged the president for months, arguing that the carbon emissions produced in the process of extracting oil from the sands would exacerbate climate change.

On Sunday thousands of men and women, many of them wearing orange vests with “Stop the pipeline” printed on them, lined up around the White House grounds, which include the presidential mansion, the U.S. Treasury department and a sprawling executive office building.

Carrying signs that matched Obama’s campaign colors of blue and red, some protesters chanted “Hey Obama, we don’t want no climate drama” and “Stop the pipeline, yes we can,” copying phrases connected to Obama’s successful 2008 election effort.

. January 13, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Caving on Keystone: Still a dumb idea

President Obama must decide by Feb. 21 whether to approve or reject the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, his hand forced by a Republican rider to the bill that extended the payroll-tax cut. The White House said straight-up that if Republicans forced a quick decision, the president would reject the pipeline permit. But in an election year, nothing is straight-up, so the latest game of conjecture in the chatter-o-sphere is whether Obama will stick to his guns.

A while back I questioned the wisdom of a “top environmentalist” who spent time with journalist Jeff Goodell gaming out scenarios for how greens might get screwed on Keystone after all. I called the scenario in question “tactically and strategically asinine.”

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