VIDEO: Mark Ruffalo Invites Occupy Wall Street to Join Keystone XL Protest this November 6 in Washington, DC
We’re excited to release a new video of actor and activist Mark Ruffalo inviting participants in Occupy Wall Street, and people from across the nation, to join him and thousands of others on November 6 in Washington, DC to join hands around the White House and show President Obama he has the support he needs to deny a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.
Over 3,000 people have already signed up for the “Hands Around the White House” event on November 6. In an invitation released earlier this fall, activists spearheading the protest wrote,
Exactly one year before the election, we want to encircle the whole White House in an act of solemn protest. We need to remind President Obama of the power of the movement that he rode to the White House in 2008. This issue is much bigger than any individual person, President or not, and that we will carry on, with or without him.
Since the initial invitation, the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations across the country have added an unexpected sure of momentum to the movement against the pipeline, with organizers teaming up in cities across the country. Buses of people from #occupy events across the country are already planning on coming into DC for November 6.
Ruffalo helped launch the first major national action against the Keystone XL pipeline this July with a video inviting people to take part in what became one of the largest acts of civil disobedience in the recent history of the environmental movement. The resulting two-week sit-in at the White House led to the arrest over 1,253 people from all 50 states and Canada, catapulting the Keystone XL pipeline from a regional dispute to a national fight.
Since August’s sit-in, protests agains the Keystone XL pipeline have spread across the nation. Pipeline protestors have met President Obama at nearly every public campaign stop from coast to coast. On Tuesday, a crowd of several hundred is expected to protest the pipeline outside of a high-donor fundraiser in San Francisco. Groups of 50-100 people are also visiting Obama for America offices to say that while they volunteered and donated to the President in 2008, they will not contribute a single hour or dollar until the President says no to the pipeline.
Other high-profile supporters of the fight against the pipeline include actors Robert Redford, Kyra Sedgwick, John Cusak, and Alec Baldwin; environmentalists Bill McKibben, Al Gore, Mike Brune, and the leaders of nearly every major environmental group in the country; Nobel Peace Prize recipients His Holiness Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and American landmines activist Jody Williams; and the editorial pages of the New York Times to the Los Angeles Times to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; politicians from Vermont independent Bernie Sanders to Nebraska’s Republican governor Dave Heineman; and many more.
Now, the fight over the Keystone XL pipeline has reached a critical juncture. In the next few weeks, each government agency is expected to comment on the State Department’s final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). In past reviews, the Environmental Protection Agency has been particularly scathing in their comments, calling the State Department’s findings unsatisfactory. The State Department is also currently under fire for alleged conflicts of interest and acts of cronyism, including hiring a consulting firm recommended by the company building the Keystone XL to conduct the pipeline EIS (bafflingly, the review found that the 1,700 pipeline would have “no significant environmental impact).” The State Department is expected to make a final decision on the pipeline on behalf of the President later this year, however, if an agency such as the EPA questions the State Department’s results, the decision will go directly to President Obama.
In just a few short weeks, the President will receive a powerful reminder that people across North America expect him to do the right thing and stop the pipeline. We’re very grateful for Mark Ruffalo’s support and look forward to seeing him in Washington, DC this November 6.