Tar Sands Action Rally Greets President Obama in Raleigh, NC

News — the tar sands action team September 14, 2011 at 6:37 pm

This post was written by Ryan Thomson, who led the organizing for the Raleigh Rally. To join him and thousands of others to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, sign up here: www.tarsandsaction.org/next-steps

In one of the largest rallies on NC State’s campus in a decade; students and citizens alike assembled to join the international movement opposing the Keystone XL pipeline. Given the incessant apathy that characterizes the NCSU student body, this rally was something out of the ordinary.

Those who participated considered the demonstration a success before it was even over simply because our ability to energize discussion and overcome the tradition of disinterest. We found allies amongst Organizing for America Campaigners and other student organizations alike. The spread of knowledge amongst the thousands attending Obama’s speech took a international issue and made it locally pertinent. We avoided an oppositional appearance and made it clear that we do not oppose the President, rather we support him in keeping his promise to end the ongoing tyranny of oil.

And in a truly ‘goosebump’ moment, we converged with our social justice counterpart and held a common rally shortly before the president arrived. Our ecological justice message opposing the Tar Sands in many ways mirrored their demand to pass the Dream Act and extend civil rights. Our chants synchronized into a common message “Yes We Can… Stop the Pipeline. Yes We Can… Pass the Dream Act.” Although our messages where completely independent of one another, social and environmental justice organizations found energy and support from one another while increasing press coverage. As a attending Professor put it “I don’t know how we did it, but we finally did it well.”

Nothing like this in all my years at NCSU has such a rally occurred. September 14 outside Reynolds Colliseum shall be remembered as the day Obama came to Raleigh and gave students the opportunity to finally stand up.

Through our efforts we made it clearly apparent, NC opposes the Keystone XL pipeline.

  1. Karen Sterling says:

    Truly amazing!!! The South has a reputation of housing the best party schools in the country ( I live in an SEC college town ). It’s great to see you all come together for environmental justice! Keep up the movement! Join up in DC!

  2. Zoidie says:

    Amazing. Bravo!

  3. Rebecca says:

    Huge Respect!!! for this activism against the Tar Sands pipeline. As we persist with this awesome type of local action, Obama will surely listen and reject this awful proposed pipeline. Hope the NC media is picking up on the local action and understands how important it is to have Obama nix the new pipeline. I was arrested at the White House a couple of weeks ago and stand with you.

  4. This is key to successful activism, people are way more willing to come out strongly For doing what is right, rather than railing Against what is wrong. We have been given this time, it is up to us to make the transition back from a short-lived and ill advised fossil fuel binge. humans created tremendous achievements thousands of years before the combustion engine, we will again.

  5. Mariel Escobar says:

    Far Out!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for letting President Obama know that we SUPPORT him in keeping his campaign promises for clean, green sustainable energy!! Yes, we CAN GET OFF OIL – Keep it Up!!

  6. Lemert says:

    thank you, thank you, keep on following the President and putting this in his face.

  7. Joan Pelican says:

    Dear Ryan Thomson, Thank you for your awesome accomplishment in organizing the Raleigh Rally. It’s our turn to step up and tell our president: Yes YOU can !!! May we ALL play an active part in this, and hope, and pray, and do a rain dance . . whatever it takes . . . that our president will come through for us, AS ONLY HE CAN, to speak out as a world leader to help us succeed in saving the life of our precious, one and only, planet earth !!!

  8. Anitamcleod says:

    The students welcomed several elders joining them…we are coming together on behalf of environmental justice and for the next seven generations and beyond!! We worked together during the election and will continue to work together. May our earth be healthy and peaceful. Envision and participate in cooperation and positive action!!!

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