Part one of the Tar Sands Action came to a close yesterday, with 243 people sitting in and risking arrest to stop the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. This was by far the largest day of action, and a historic statement to President Obama. Protestors stood in the DC heat for over four hours in solemn opposition to the pipeline and the development of the Alberta tar sands.
Yesterday’s demonstration also showed the incredible momentum building behind this movement. Every day of last week’s action was larger than the biggest the week prior. Day after day the sit-in grew – from 72 arrests on Tuesday to 111 Wednesday, 137 Thursday, 166 Friday and then 243 on Saturday.
Along with the sit-in, The Sierra Club, 350.org and Interfaith Power and Light led a separate rally against Keystone XL that featured Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein, and Rev. Lennox Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus. The rally was followed by a massive work of aerial art composed by all the participants, who formed a 1,200 person pipeline that snaked through the park, before being dismantled by everyone involved.
At the rally, Bill McKibben announced that Tar Sands Action will continue with a phase two, with details to be announced within 48 hours of the rally Saturday – to stay in the loop, sign up at www.tarsandsaction.org/next-steps