Reject and Protect – Obama You Can Stop the Pipeline

Later this month, a powerful alliance of farmers, ranchers, and tribal communities will be coming to Washington, DC to make the closing argument against one of the most controversial and dangerous projects in North America — the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

The action is called Reject and Protect, and they call themselves the Cowboy Indian Alliance. The Alliance is planning to ride into DC on horseback and then set up camp on the National Mall for the week of April 22-27th to show President Obama the real stakes of approving Keystone XL, which would carry 830,000 barrels per day of the world’s dirtiest oil across the American heartland to be refined, exported and then burned.

Last summer, President Obama said he would reject the pipeline if he decided that it would have a significant impact on the climate. Since then, a string of scientists, economists and other experts have provided a drumbeat of evidence that it would indeed be devastating for the climate: A University of California Berkeley Economist estimates that stopping the pipeline would keep 1,000,000,000 barrels of tar sands oil under ground; another study found that approving the pipeline would have the equivalent climate impact of 51 coal plants.

Then there’s the risk to water and land along the route. Even though it would run through some of the most sensitive water tables in North America, Keystone XL is expected to leak 91 times over its lifetime posing a direct threat to the farmers, ranchers, and tribes who rely on clean water for their livelihoods.

Not to mention the devastating impacts further extraction of the tar sands would have on communities in northern Canada.

On April 22nd, the Alliance will arrive in Washington, DC to show President Obama the real faces of the people who would be directly impacted by the pipeline should it be approved. Farmers, ranchers, and tribal leaders will be holding ceremonies and demonstrations throughout the week to underline the real risks of the pipeline, but they’ve also invited everyone to join them for a big event on Saturday the 26th to make a closing argument against the pipeline together.Gary Dorr Reject & Protect Meme

That’s when thousands of people will be converging to make the final argument against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, and tell President Obama to protect our land, water and climate.

Together, they’ll be hand delivering a hand painted tipi to President Obama — a symbol of both the hope that he will live up to his promises, and the promise to stand with farmers, ranchers, and tribal leaders to resist the pipeline should he approve it.



The following guest post is Part I in a series written by Rachel Jackson, the Tour Leader for Global Exchange’s ‘Radical Oklahoma’ Reality Tour trip happening now.

Tour participants eat a healthy breakfast in the shade.

Radical Oklahoma – Red State Reality Tour


Lake Tenkiller, near Gore, OK.

On Sunday, after a quick round up in Tulsa of our tour guests and a mad supermarket dash for breakfast supplies, we headed to Lake Tenkiller State Park.

On the way we crossed the boundary between Muscogee Creek Country into Cherokee Country, where the lake is located. We arrived in time for dinner at Soda Steve’s, a local establishment that makes it own root beer and cream soda.

This morning on Day 2, we woke up in a leisurely fashion to sunrise over Lake Tenkiller and enjoyed a picnic breakfast at a table outside our cabin. We got on the road mid-morning and took the back roads scenic route across OK Highway 9 west toward Sasakwa.

This is the remains of the old city hall in Sasakwa City Hall. Perhaps some Green Corn rebels were detained here.

Our goal was to tour the countryside around the site of the Green Corn Rebellion. Our trip took us out of Cherokee territory, through Muscogee Creek Country, and into the Seminole Nation – three of the five tribes removed from the southeastern United States into Indian Territory during the 1830’s removal era. The federal government assigned these tribes (the first among many more) a new, and much smaller, land base that these nations still claim today.

The Green Corn Rebellion was an armed insurrection that occurred in early August 1917. Occurring in reaction to the World War I Conscription Act, its goal was to protest the draft of the poor to fight in “a rich man’s war.”


Lone Dove Cemetery, just north of Sasakwa – a supposed site of internment for several Green Corn Rebels.

The rebels involved were members and sympathizers with the Working Class Union, a loosely affiliated branch of the Industrial Workers of the World that organized African American, Native American, and white tenant farmers, sharecroppers, miners, and oil field workers who saw class concerns as a unifying force.

In the days prior to rebellion, the rebels committed numerous acts of sabotage such as dynamiting railroad trestles and cutting telegraph lines to halt the mechanisms of capitalism that were driving U.S. involvement in the war. Though the story is complicated, the plan was to continue such acts of sabotage all the way to Washington, D.C., meeting up with other rebels across the country along the way.

The rebels, however, never made it out of the area. They were stopped by posses made up of their neighbors and community members. Knowing they couldn’t shoot men they knew (they were prepared to shoot nameless National Guardsmen), the rebels laid down their arms and gave themselves up for arrest. According to historic records, all in all 458 men were arrested, many of whom went on to serve significant sentences. The key leaders of the WCU were sentenced to ten years in Leavenworth federal penitentiary.

While the Green Corn rebels were suppressed through accusations of disloyalty and syndicalism, so was the rebellion. That is, few Oklahomans know of it because official narratives of state history do not account for it. It’s hard not to wonder how Oklahoma might be different if this story were publicly acknowledged, or perhaps even heralded, as a collective expression of conscientious objection to unbridled greed and war.


The Keystone XL Pipeline construction path, crossing OK Highway 270, outside of Holdenville, OK.

What might a roadside historical marker say about these rebels, impoverished workers in the Oklahoma countryside, who emboldened each other to take a stand?

On the way back to Tenkiller, we took a slightly different route, and came across – quite by accident – the path being cut across Oklahoma for the Keystone XL Pipeline. Certainly the Green Corn Rebels should inspire us all to put a stop to that mess.

Rachel Jackson is a PhD Candidate and Dissertation Fellow at the University of Oklahoma in the Composition, Rhetoric, and Literacy Program, Department of English. She researches and theorizes the impact of suppressed local histories of resistance on Oklahoma’s current political identity.


Carleen Pickard at Climate Rally DC

Carleen Pickard at Climate Rally DC

After months of organizing and momentum building, between 40- 50,000 climate activists showed up in Washington, DC at the largest climate rally in the history of the United States to send a clear message: It’s Time to Move Forward on Climate. 

Despite the cold, we all gathered. And we kept gathering and growing with thousands of people arriving by the minute.  Rev. Lennox Yearwood, leader of the Hip Hop Caucus kept us cheering, jumping and warm through the Forward on Climate rally.

We chanted ‘can’t stop, won’t stop’ between speakers on the rally stage where people such as indigenous leader, Chief Jacqueline Thomas of the Saik’uz First Nation, founder Bill McKibben, and President Obama’s former green jobs advisor Van Jones all highlighted the urgency of stopping the Keystone XL pipeline.

It was not until later when I saw the much-shared image that I really, really believed that fifty thousand of us demonstrated in Washington DC to change the course of climate change and  demand President Obama keep his promise to protect future generations and cancel the Keystone XL pipeline.


photo: Shadia Fayne Wood | Project Survival Media

A full recording of the rally can be watched here.

Hundreds of buses carried thousands of activists from states as far away as Florida, Michigan, Rhode Island and Texas, where direct action resistance is being led by women like Julia Trigg Crawford and 78 year old farmer Eleanor Fairchild. Crawford and Fairchild both joined Melina Laboucan-Massimo and Crystal Lameman, First Nations women from Alberta, Canada – ground zero of the tar sands – at an event later that evening called “Woman of the Frontlines Speak.

Speaking from both ends of the pipe, the packed room heard the devastating impacts of tar sands extraction on the environment, life and spirit. Impacts which would only be exacerbated by the Keystone XL pipeline.

Walter Riley at the Forward in Climate rally in San Francisco, CA

Walter Riley at the Forward on Climate rally in San Francisco, CA

Rallies and marches across the United States also carried the same message. Global Exchange was proud to also be present in San Francisco, at the 5000-person strong rally supported by dozens of local organizations and Idle No More.

Reports still cite a decision on the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline due soon, and no doubt politicians in Canada and the U.S. were watching Sunday’s events closely (Obama? Maybe – he was playing golf with Tiger Woods and 2 oil executives in Florida).

But I’m hopeful. In DC, speaking from the stage, Ponca Native rights activist Casey Camp-Horinek told the crowd, “Relatives, this is the beginning of change and I thank you and I love you.” Agreed.


Incensed about President Obama’s “guys weekend“? Join’s action and call the White House today.

Let’s keep the momentum going and stop the pipeline once and for all. Join the week of action to Stop Tar Sands Profiteers, March 16 -23.

Carleen DC NoXL

Carleen Pickard at Stop Keystone XL protest in DC, 2011 Photo Credit: Global Exchange

On a sunny November in 2011 thousands of us encircled the White House to say No to Keystone XL. This, after other direct actions in both Ottawa and DC also demanding rejection of the pipeline demonstrated our collective force for action on climate change.

It’s time again. President Obama must move America Forward on Climate in 2013 with decisive action to reduce dangerous carbon pollution.

Obama’s legacy as the 44th President of the United States of America rests squarely on his leadership in the face of an unstable climate future. The first milestone for President Obama is to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

FOClogoJoin me and thousands of others in DC on Sunday, February 17th over President’s Day weekend  – and show President Obama that the progressive movement and the communities that helped secure his victory are coming together to hold him to his promises.

  • What: The largest climate rally in history
  • Where: The National Mall in Washington, D.C., including a march to the White House
  • When: February 17, 2013, Noon – 4:00 p.m. (please arrive by 11:30 a.m.)
  • More Details:

Lead organizers and the Sierra Club report that more than 16,000 people are signed up to attend (and counting!)

Take-ActionTAKE ACTION! Support the rally and efforts to get tens of thousands present.

Consider making a donation to Global Exchange so we can be on the frontlines to say No to Keystone XL and elsewhere as we build an unstoppable movement for change together.

Stop the Tar Sands!



medea benjaminThere are many things to be thankful for in 2012, starting with the fact that the world didn’t end on December 21 and that we don’t have to witness the inauguration of Mr. One-Percent Mitt Romney. The global economic crisis continued to hit hard, but people have been taking to the streets around the world, from students in Chile to indigenous activists in Canada to anti-austerity workers in Europe. And while the excitement of the Arab world uprisings has been tempered by divisions and losses, the struggles are far from over.

Here are some US and global issues that experienced newfound gains in 2012.

1.     While conservatives launched vicious attacks on women’s rights, it backfired—and fired up the pro-choice base! US voters elected the highest number of women to Congress ever, including the first openly lesbian senator (Tammy Baldwin), the first Asian-American senator (Mazie Hirono) and first senator to make the banks tremble, Elizabeth Warren! Voters also rejected 4 crazy candidates who called for limiting a woman’s right to choose—including the resounding defeat by Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill over Mr. Legitimate Rape Todd Akin. Don’t forget that when Susan G. Komen for the Cure announced it would no longer fund Planned Parenthood, it got so heartily trounced that it caved in than seventy-two hours later. And stay tuned for the 2013 global women rising – a billion of us demanding an end to violence against women on February 14!

2.     Immigrant rights groups, especially young Latinos, mobilized and took great risks to force a change in attitude—and a thaw in policy. They fasted and caravanned and marched and knocked on doors. They pushed the administration and in June, just before the election, President Obama announced a new immigration policy that allows some undocumented students to avoid deportation and receive work authorization when they apply for deferred action. While not nearly enough, especially in light of this administration’s record rate of deportations, a mobilized immigrant community with significant voting power stands poised to make more impactful changes in U.S. immigration policy next year.

3.     More money flooded the elections than ever before (some $5.8 billion!), but most of it went down a big, black hole—and unleashed a new movement for money out of politics. Billionaires wasted fortunes trying to sell lousy candidates and lousy ideas. Looking at the candidates supported by the biggest moneybags of all, Sheldon Adelson, NONE were elected to office. Right-wing “pundits” like Karl Rove proved themselves to be idiotic partisan hacks and the Tea Party has been tearing itself apart. But best of all, from Massachusetts to Oregon, Colorado to Illinois and Wisconsin, and Ohio to California, citizens throughout the country voted overwhelmingly for their legislators to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling and declare that only human beings – not corporations – are entitled to constitutional rights and that money is not speech and campaign spending can be regulated.

4.     The marijuana genie is now out of the bottle, with people across the country backing referendums seeking an end to the decades of destructive, counterproductive drug wars. Colorado and Washington voters legalized recreational pot, and medical marijuana will be legal in Massachusetts. Voters in California passed Prop 34, which restricts lifetime incarceration via the “three strikes” law to violent or serious third offenses, a change that will help limit the prison sentences of nonviolent drug offenders. Prominent leaders including Senate Judiciary Chair Patrick Leahy, former President Bill Clinton and President Obama have hinted that they will reconsider the harsh criminal drug policy that has cost so much money and so many lives while failing to curb drug abuse.

5.     This year marked momentous wins for gay rights. Massachusetts, Maine, and Washington legalized marriage equality, and Minnesota defeated a restrictive state constitutional amendment that would have upheld a ban. Now, one-tenth of states in the U.S. uphold marriage equality. Thanks to activist pressure, on May 9 President Obama became the first sitting president to endorse marriage equality for same-sex couples. Several prominent leaders in the Democratic Party followed his lead, and muted conservative responses only served to demonstrate how far public opinion has shifted on the issue.

6.     Climate activists have been kickin’ up a storm. Anti-coal activists have helped retire over 100 coal plants, victories that will save lives and clean our air and water, while wind energy hit a historic milestone of 50,000 megawatts. The global anti-fracking movement mounted effective campaigns that has led to local bans in the US and Canada, national moratoriums in France and Bulgaria, and tighter regulation in Australia and the UK. The grassroots campaign to stop the Keystone Pipeline has awakened a new generation of activists (don’t forget the upcoming February 17-18 President’s Day Climate Legacy/Keystone XL rally in Washington, D.C.). And on the national front, in August the Obama administration issued new miles-per-gallon rules on car manufacturers, mandating that Detroit nearly double fuel efficiency standards by 2025.

7.         Unions have been hard hit by the economic crisis and political attacks, but worker’s gains made in 2012 show potential muscle. The Chicago teachers’ strike in September, lasting for seven school days, led to an important victory for public education. Walmart workers staged the first-ever strikes against the biggest private sector employer in the United States and heralded a new model of organizing, with workers and community members coming together to support better conditions in the stores and warehouses even before the workers join a union. And in another example of worker/community organizing, student activism allied with union advocacy in San Jose, California led to a ballot initiative that will raise the minimum wage from $8 to $10 per hour for everyone working within the city limits.

8.     On the foreign policy front, opposition to drone warfare is on the rise. After years of silence about the use of lethal drones overseas, the public began to learn more and the level of anti-drone activism skyrocketed. Now there are protests all over the country, including army bases where drones are piloted and manufacturing plants, and US activists have hooked up with drone victims overseas. US attitudes, once overwhelmingly pro-drone, are beginning to change, becoming more aligned with the global opposition to drone warfare. And the increased global opposition is leading to a rethinking of US policies.

9.     The international movement for Palestinian human rights has gained unprecedented momentum. In November the United Nations endorsed an independent state of Palestine, showing sweeping international support of Palestinian demands for sovereignty over lands Israel has occupied since 1967. The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions call by Palestinian civil society gained international traction as well, with economic, cultural and academic victories. Several different Christian denominations and college campuses voted to divest from Israeli occupation, the Technical University of Denmark dropped scientific collaboration projects with an Israeli settlement, the South African ANC endorsed the BDS call, Stevie Wonder cancelled a performance at a “Friends of the IDF” fundraiser, and much more. The grassroots call for Israel to adhere to international law has never been louder.

10.       After nearly 15 years of house arrest, Burmese opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi was elected to Parliament! Suu Kyi’s party, the NLD (National League for Democracy), swept the April by-elections, winning 43 of the 44 seats it contested. After decades of abuse, the military-dominated government released hundreds of political prisoners, enacted laws on forming trade unions and freedom of assembly, eased official media censorship, and allowed the opposition to register and contest elections. President Obama’s November visit, the first by a sitting US president, was an acknowledgement of the reforms. There’s still need for pressure, as hundreds of political prisoners remain, ethnic conflict continues, and Burmese military still holds too much power. But 2012 was a good year for the Burmese people.

There will be no time to rest in 2013, since the wealthy are already pushing to protect their profits to the detriment of the environment, workers’ rights and our democracy. But just as the massacre in Sandy Hook has led to a reinvigorated fight for gun control, so 2013 will surely mark a renewed effort to build stronger coalitions to spread the wealth, reverse global warming and disentangle ourselves from foreign wars. And with the presidential elections behind us, the time is ripe for building a progressive movement that is not tied to any political party but can put pressure on the entire system. Let the organizing begin!!!

Friends, the response was rapid, fierce and overwhelming. When we joined the effort to gather 500,000 signatures in 24 hours, it seemed ambitious. With news that the Senate was considering legislation that would resurrect the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. The same pipeline that President Obama sanely rejected last month, a group of organizations, coordinated by pulled out all the stops to pull together the biggest social media action the climate movement has mobilized.

By late Monday afternoon the 500,000 goal had been reached with Alayna Cohen from Lincoln, NE tipping the scales. But it didn’t stop. The official count was 802,180!

After a Monday night appearance on The Cobert Report, Bill McKibben said,

“The last 24 hours were the most concentrated blitz of environmental organizing since the start of the digital age. Over 800,000 Americans made it clear that Keystone XL is the environmental litmus test for Senators and every other politician in the country. It’s the one issue where people have come out in large numbers to put their bodies on the line, and online too: the largest civil disobedience action on any issue in 30 years, and now the most concentrated burst of environmental advocacy perhaps since the battles over flooding the Grand Canyon back in the glory days.”

On Tuesday, representatives from the coalition delivered the 800,000 messages directly to Senator Reid and Senator McConnell in DC. We’ll see what happens next. For today, we’ve spoken. Thanks for taking action!

Just moments ago, the Obama administration delivered the announcement we’ve all been waiting for, “The proposed Keystone XL Pipeline [has been] denied.”

Following months of activism and pressure – from both advocates and opponents of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to carry heavy crude 1,700 miles from northern Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico – President Obama made the right decision to deny the permit application from TransCanada.

After announcing a delay to the permit approval process in November, Congress approved legislation in late December forcing the President to fast track a decision by February 21. Eager Republicans from the House Energy and Commerce Committee even posted a countdown clock in an attempt to force Obama into approval.

Even before the formal announcement from the State Department today, advocates of Keystone XL were vowing, “This is not the end of this fight,” (spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner). It’s true, they have the backing and support and money of Big Oil to fight back, draft new legislation and push for a new route for this pipeline and others. Today’s news does not preclude any subsequent permit application or applications for similar projects.

We were there to oppose this pipeline proposal and we’ll continue to be there to oppose any alternative routes. The State Department stated that the proposed KeystoneXL Pipeline does not serve the national interest, but we are here to insist that this pipeline — and any tar sands pipeline — is not in the interest of our planet’s future.

Thanks for all your hard work around this. Stay updated on the latest news around the KeystoneXL Pipeline on our People-to-People blog.

Wait a minute! Hang on! Didn’t we celebrate that Obama announced that the Keystone XL permit decision (whether or not approve TransCanada’s application to build a mega pipeline to transport dirty tar sands oil from northern Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico) was off the agenda until 2013? Yes, we did. BUT then the payroll tax cut extension came up for consideration in Congress and outraged Republicans decided to attach legislation forcing President Obama to approve or deny Keystone XL in sixty days. This happened on December 23. Happy Holidays climate change, environmental destruction and indigenous rights.

Since then advocates for Keystone XL have put the full court press on President Obama –  pressuring, lobbying, tweeting, blogging, placing ads and demanding Obama’s approval:

TransCanada can’t stop talking about all the jobs they want to create if Keystone XL is approved. (The Center for Economic and Policy Research‘s economist Dean Baker debunked these numbers on Jan 2.)

On Jan 4, Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee launched a ‘countdown clock’ asking, “Will President Obama choose jobs and energy security for America?” If you are not great at math, like me, the clock is kind of handy.

Lobbyists for the oil industry – The American Petroleum Institute – launched ads on Jan 11. Ah, lobbyists.

Speaker John Boehner blogged on Jan 13 asking what you’d decide if you were President, and is asking for feedback: “Let Speaker Boehner know in the comments section … on Google+, on Twitter using the #KXL hash tag, and on Facebook by answering our Question here.” Take action, friends!

So, while all this is going on the count down to a thumbs down is on. Obama’s spent twenty-one days, seventeen hours and two minutes (of his sixty days) from the time this blog is posted. In December White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer tweeted that the countdown “simply shortens  the review process in a way that virtually guarantees that the pipeline will NOT be approved.” Today Business Week quoted Mike McKenna, an oil-industry lobbyist and president of MWR Strategies Inc. in Washington, saying, “The president is going to say no. The only recourse the Republicans have is to make it painful, politically, for him.”

Months ago Maude Barlow recounted a conversation that she had with a taxi driver in DC on her way to participate in the days of protest to stop Keystone XL this summer. She asked the man what Obama should decide on the pipeline. He said that Obama is in a tough place, if he approves the project he’ll anger his supporters who elected him but if he denies it, he’ll anger the big corporations pressuring for approval. Maude agreed and then asked him again what he though that Obama should do. The driver responded, ‘If Obama can’t please everyone, then he should do the right thing and deny the pipeline’.

Below is a short film about tar sands extraction – beyond Keystone XL, other oil giants are working to increase extraction in other directions, from northern Alberta to the west coast through a project called the Northern Gateway. This short film was ranked as one of the Top Ten Revolutionary Videos of 2011.

This post was originally sent to our News and Action e-mail list. Be the first to get the latest news and alerts from Global Exchange by signing up to our e-mail lists.

Our rising voices are being heard!
The Mass Day of Action called this week from #OWS is happening, thousands are on the streets today to say enough is enough!

Our rising voices are being heard! 
The action comes as we pass the two month mark since #OWS began and just days after NY Mayor Bloomberg ordered a raid on Zuccotti Park and barred the 99% from returning and re-establishing the camp.

Our rising voices are being heard! 
The action comes just days after teachers and students protested in California. On Tuesday, 5,000 students attended the General Assembly at the UC Berkeley campus to establish #OccupyCal. On Wednesday, teachers and teachers’ aides took a strike vote, and today, students protested outside the Cal State University Trustees offices in Long Beach as Trustees voted to raise tuition by 9%.

Our rising voices are being heard! 
These actions come just a week after a major victory for people and the planet! On November 10, the Obama administration announced it will delay approval of what Bill McKibben has famously called the ‘poster child’ for the Occupy movement – the Keystone XL pipeline. Obama has postponed any decision until 2013 due to concerns about the proposed routing through Nebraska and the Ogallala Aquifer. This, after 12,000 people surrounded the White House at a mass day of action, is a step in the right direction to cancel the project entirely.

Our rising voices are being heard! 
If riot police spend their days evicting occupy sites, we will return and we will continue to grow. Today’s Mass Day of Action is one of many. This week’s remarkable action by students in Berkeley is one of many. Our victory to stop Keystone XL will be one of many. As it has been said, you cannot evict an idea whose time has come.

In two months we have changed the national conversation. From headlines in newspapers to conversations at our local coffee shops, people are now speaking of righting the inequality that exists and creating a just, safe and resilient future.

We have the attention of the 1% and as former US Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich declared at the UC Berkeley, “Moral outrage is the beginning. The days of apathy are over, folks. And once it has begun it cannot be stopped and it will not be stopped.”

Stand in solidarity with the 99% movement. Get your I AM 99% stickers.

The title steals the last line from Tar Sands Action‘s morning blog (“It’s going to be very good day for the 99% of us who aren’t an executive at TransCanada.”) with the update that it WAS a great day. By official count 12,000 of us participated in the Day of Action to surround the White House. Some called it a “giant hug”, some said we’d “encircle the White House to show President Obama that he has the support he needs to say NO to the Keystone XL pipeline” and at last night’s meet up and strategy session Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein said that some could also call it “a house arrest”.

Read Global Exchange’s twitter feed for posts and pictures as it was happening.

a quarter of the crowd gathered in Lafayette Park before we encircled

This Sunday at noon we gathered, we got our posters, we saw friends, we cheered as contingents from across the country entered

Lafayette Park and excitement built as Bill McKibben welcomed us all. Then Mike Brune from the Sierra Club,  Mark Ruffalo, James Hansen, Naomi Klein, Nobel Prize winner Jody Williams, Vice President of the Oglala Lakota Nation Tom Poor Bear, Rev Lennox Yearwood and the president of Sojourners, elected reps from TN and MD, a rancher from Nebraska, the president of the Transport Workers Union all joined the stage to explain the terrors of the Keystone XL pipeline proposal and quantify this tipping point moment to stop it’s approval by President Obama before the end of the year.

thanks James Ploeser for the photo!

THEN WE DID IT! We got instructions from the Tar Sands Action team (BRAVO to all of you btw!) and headed in 3 teams to completely encircle the White House. And we did it not just in one ring, but in some places two and three rings deep. A giant, long, inflated, black ‘pipeline’ marched back and forth as we chanted ‘Yes You Can, Stop The Pipeline’ over and over and over again.

As the sun set over Lafayette Park we returned for celebratory speeches from Maude Barlow, Dick Gregory, members of Gulf oil disaster impacted communities, Jane Kleeb from BOLD Nebraska (who convinced us all we are pipeline fighters, Sand Hill lovers and Ogallala Aquifer lovers), Physicians for Social Responsibility, a First Nations Chief from British Columbia, chief  and heard a message from Van Jones.

Board member and friend Deborah James and I this afternoon

We know what happened today – it’s been decades since an issue has brought these numbers to Washington to demonstrate such strong support for a President to stand up against corporate interests and be held accountable to his own campaign promises. We demonstrated the very best of our people power. We just need to hear from the President that he was listening.

Send a message to the President now – click here to tell Obama to reject the pipeline. There is no time to wait.