Aug 29 Press Release: Largest Day of Arrests Yet at White House Pipeline Protest

Uncategorized — the tar sands action team August 29, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Photo by Josh Lopez

WASHINGTON, DC – America’s top climate scientist and a large group of religious leaders were arrested at the White House this morning with 140 other Americans to push President Obama to deny the permit for a massive new oil pipeline. (1)

“If Obama chooses the dirty needle it will confirm that the President was just green-washing all along, like the other well-oiled coal-fired politicians, with no real intention of solving the addiction,” said NASA’s Dr. James Hansen, who was arrested at the White House this morning.

President Obama must decide whether or not to grant a “presidential permit” for a Canadian company, TransCanada, to begin construction of the Keystone XL, a 1,700 mile pipeline from the Canadian tar sands to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico.

Earlier this summer, Dr. Hansen and twenty other leading scientists sent a letter to the White House urging the President to prevent the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, writing: “If the pipeline is to be built, you as president have to declare that it is ‘in the national interest.’ As scientists, speaking for ourselves and not for any of our institutions, we can say categorically that it’s not only not in the national interest, it’s also not in the planet’s best interest.” (2)

Best-selling evangelical author Jim Wallis, who recently served on President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, sent a message of support to the protesters.

“American Christians are demanding a new direction in America’s energy future — one that marks our turn away from oil and fossil fuels and toward cleaner and renewable energy sources,” wrote Wallis. “Developing the tar sands in Canada and building the Keystone XL pipeline through six states in the American Midwest is the wrong direction for our country and derails progress of building a responsible energy infrastructure.”

“Climate change hurts the poor first,” said Rose Berger, a Roman Catholic and editor at Sojourners magazine who led a large delegation of religious leaders participating in the protest and was arrested this morning. “The tar sands development and the permitting the Keystone XL pipeline will worsen climate change and should be stopped.”

“We must turn up the heat in a sustained effort against the scourge of climate change, which harms not just our land and water but people here and now, our human future and all earthly creation,” said Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb of Adat Shalom Reconstructionist congregation in Bethesda, MD.

The executive directors of Greenpeace and, as well as the President of CREDO Mobile, also took part in today’s sit-in. So far, the ongoing White House protest that began on Saturday, Aug 21st has led to the arrest of over 500 Americans. The protest will continue until September 3rd with large crowds expected each day.

Photos at

CONTACT: Daniel Kessler, 510-501-1779,; Jamie Henn, 415-601-9337,


1. To date 521 people have been arrested protesting the White House.


  1. Anonymous says:

    “If Obama chooses the dirty needle it will confirm that the President was just green-washing all along, like the other well-oiled coal-fired politicians, with no real intention of solving the addiction,”

    Where have they been since 2008… in Antartica?

    Stop the Pave will not stop anything if it keeps siding with retarded reformists like that.

  2. LaVonna Ausherman Lathrop says:

    I’m from Abilene Kansas, I read in our hometown newspaper today, 8/29/11, that there is already at least one pipeline built in Dickinson County, my home county. So it is an ongoing thing being protested by several people there. But there are those there who are for it, figure that out! Of course I am against it.

    My home town is Abilene Kansas, it is already being built around there sorry to say.

  3. Thanes says:

    I went from Atlanta GA to DC Saturday to participate, and unfortunately Hurricane Irene interfered, and I had to get back to Atlanta before Monday to work and to get back to my wife and three small children. Nonetheless, I attended the rally Saturday, and my mother became interested and came along as well.
    Well, guess what. You can see her in the blue hat under the boom mike! I did everything I could to fully protest dumping 200 gT carbon in the atmosphere but came up short, but don’t ever get discouraged. In politics, intensity matters, even more so in survival and truth, and as much grief as I get ( and give) letting everyone I know (often through Facebook) what I’ve learned about global warming, I think it will eventually make some tiny difference. If you know the science, defend it! Advocate for it! The media is doing a really piss-poor job, and there is a real gap between what the scientists are saying and what the public is hearing, and if someone will listen to you, and if they have the sense to tell the difference between the Unabomber and the global scientific community, you might make a difference. The thing is, the press has left us in the air where a vigorous exposition of the consensus scientific opinion SOUNDS crazy to the average, intelligent but un-engaged person.
    But like about everything in the world as in this, persistence and education pays.

    • Thanes says:

      Oh, and by the way, the forces of evil had a very bad day when my mother started paying attention to this issue. Like a pit bull. When she latches on she’s not letting go until either she or the pipeline are dead, and she’ll be wagging her tail the whole time. Wouldn’t bet on the $7 billion pipeline.

  4. Mean_old_mommy says:

    husband and i were arrested in tarsandsaction last week. sunday we sat in a group at church and heard lots of cynicism that we’d never break through into the national media. tonight we saw bill mckibben on lehrer news hour on pbs. tomorrow i will call the white house at 202 -456-1111 to tell obama to stop the pipeline. get on board people – this train is pulling out of the station.

  5. Ninaallenc says:

    can you extend the protest so more people can come?

  6. iamaverb says:

    They build it to the US or they build it to their own west coast for a Asian buyer.

    The best we can hope is for China to replace their coal fired electrical plants with a cleaner technology, like Nat Gas. Curses those energy companies.

  7. Anglswtchnovrme8 says:

    My sister, Megan Richardson is documenting this movement via Great Smokies Photography. She is doing a great job, and I support her and everyone who has the guts to take a stand for our environment.

  8. Ina Warren says:

    As I reflect on being arrested at the Keystone XL pipeline protest in DC on 8/29, I realize my first “act” of civil disobedience did not involve facing dobermans, pressurized water hoses or cops with billy sticks and tear gas. Thus I can’t brag too much about the effort. But I went to DC in person to offer my witness as currency of my support of the protest.
    Standing on the sidewalk in front of the White House after 3 warnings to “move along” was the most profound moment of my life thus far.
    Tears streamed down my face as I recalled online images from Tar sands documentary films regarding research of Dr David Schlindler of University of Alberta-Edmonton.
    If you don’t know of Schlindler’s work, google him as his is a voice in the wilderness for the First Nations peoples and the horrors committed against them and the natural resources of their homeland. Their water is being poisoned. Their air, sulphur-ized. Fish that somehow manage to survive in the rivers and lakes develop large tumors. High numbers of unusual cancers are being documented in the villages.
    So my standing up at the White House on Monday was for Dr Schindler and his team of researchers. They are on the side of the angels. I carried a photo of him in my pocket on this DC trip as a tribute to his remarkable life of service to his fellow travelers as well as all creatures great and small.
    They are the heroes in this story as they risk their personal and professional reputations against a war chest of unlimited bloody, oily corporate cash.
    I was honored to join Bill McKibben and Dr Jim Hansen (both of whom were also arrested during this two week protest) and I salute their life’s work for humanity as well.
    The Keystone XL pipeline is not just about the “carbon bomb” or the threat to the Ogallala aquifer in the Plains’ states. We must go back to the source of this boreal forest savagery, the rape of the land for the bitumen and see what “Lord Man hath wrought.”
    It seems to me the corporate oil machine will stop at nothing for the Almighty Dollar.
    I weep for the next generation… as well as our own.
    And perhaps the saddest part…. is how easily all this could be changed.
    We all know about supply and demand. When our demand for cheap oil changes, the supply mechanism will also change. It is within our power to change this – but no one is offering any bets. For we have become too me-gocentric to choose to lessen our own elephant-sized footprint in order that others may simply live.
    A NEW RULE suggestion for Bill Maher – Anyone profiting from the Tar Sands Oil, directly or via Wall Street must make their permanent family residence (for themselves and their children) on the Athabasca River in Alberta, Canada.
    And that’s a change we can all believe in…

  9. Harold Hensel says:

    There is no way to overstate the importance of the Tar Sands Action cause.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

(c) 2016 Tar Sands Action | powered by WordPress