Robert Redford: Join Nov. 6 Keystone XL White House Protest

News — the tar sands action team October 31, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Actor Robert Redford released a new video on Monday inviting people to surround the White House this Nov. 6 to push President Barack Obama to deny a permit for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Thousands are expected to join the White House protest, scheduled exactly one year before the 2012 election.

In the video, Redford says: “On November 6, thousands will gather outside the White House. Together, in a show of solidarity the crowd will encircle the ‘People’s House.’ The crowd will show the President that if he stands up to Big Oil like he promised to do, he will have the people’s support. Now is the time for the President to show true leadership and help to move the country off  of oil. We have better energy choices.”

Redford has emerged as an outspoken critic of the Keystone XL pipeline, a 1,700 mile project that would carry toxic tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Actors Mark Ruffalo and David Strathairn have also released videos endorsing the Nov. 6 demonstration. Actors Daryl Hannah and Omar Metwally were arrested with over 1,250 others at the White House this August during a two-week sit-in against the pipeline.

“This has become the biggest environmental flashpoint in many years,” said author Bill McKibben, who is spearheading protests against the pipeline with the group “We can’t literally occupy the White House, so the next best thing is to surround it.”

Over the last two months, pipeline protestors have followed the President to nearly every public campaign stop. Groups of 50-100 volunteers are also visiting Obama for America offices in key swing-states to tell the campaign they won’t donate or volunteer for the President unless he stops the pipeline. Major donors are also threatening to drop their support if the project goes through. The November 6 protest is supported by nearly every major environmental group in the country, a number of unions, youth coalitions, and indigenous leaders.

“We’ve looked on Google Maps and we think we’ll have enough people to completely surround the property,” said Jamie Henn, a spokesperson with “We’re not interested in levitating the White House, but we are going to see if we can resurrect the Barack Obama that ran in 2008 and pledged to ‘end the tyranny of oil.'”

Right now, the pipeline permit determination process is in its final stages. The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to comment soon on the State Department’s final Environmental Impact Statement for the pipeline. Once each agency has commented on the report, the State Department will issue or deny the pipeline permit on behalf of the president. Agencies then have 15 days to object to the State Department’s conclusion and send the decision directly to the White House. The State Department had indicated that it expected to make a final decision on the pipeline permit by the end of the year, but an official recently told Reuters that the decision might be delayed.

President Obama responded to pipeline protestors in Denver last week, saying, “No decision’s been made and I know your deep concern about it, so we will address it.”

Robert Redford’s video can be found at and was co-produced with the Natural Resource Defense Council.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Good for Robert Redford and Daryl Hannah. This is a fight this planet can not afford to lose.
    We Canadians also want to stop the abomination of the dirty tars sands oil.

    Scientists have discovered, acid in our ocean right up to the shores of British Columbia. They were stunned, they thought the acid way out in the deeps. The acid will eat the shells off the crustaceans. The coral is turning white. Scientists say, The Great Barrier Reef, will be gone within twenty years. This is a very serious wake-up call. Our oceans are dying. If the oceans die, we die. The sea is on an overdose of Carbon Monoxide. If we don’t get rid of fossil fuels, the planet will get rid of us.

    The Boreal Forests around the dirty tar sands, are the last in North America. There are thousands of wild creatures that call the forests home. The forest is critical to be left, to clean the air so stupid humans can breathe.

    In case some people are not aware…Athabasca Lake has deformed fish. The mighty Athabasca River has, oil, heavy metals and cancer causing agents in it. This river is long and huge. Any wild creatures using that water will eventually perish. The giant Athabasca watershed is now contaminated.

    Another flock of ducks died from landing in the filthy sludge. Our beloved Whooping Cranes, fly right over the tar sands. We can only pray they don’t decide to land in that crud as well.

    The caribou are dying.

    Worst of all, the village of First Nations People, are dying of cancer. Even the very rare cancer of exposure to petroleum.

    There are eco abuses from, the Norwegian oil sands projects. They had the gall to divert a river to their tar sands area. Who knows what damage that has caused. They also have dirty diseased fish farms in BC, that are killing off our wild salmon. They should be kicked right out of Canada, they have no respect for our eco systems, what-so-ever.

    Because the dirty oil is as solid as a hockey puck. The chemicals put in the oil to make it flow freely, are absolutely lethal. Those chemicals are also very corrosive. The pipes become fragile and burst. Canada has a vast wilderness, it can take days to find the pipe burst. I am not sure if there is wilderness, where the Keystone pipeline route is? However, any rivers, streams, lands and clean underground water, in contact with that poison, will be dead forever. Farm stock and wild animals will certainly be poisoned to death. It is impossible to clean those spills up.

    As everyone knows. The people of BC are supporting the First Nations People, to stop the Enbridge pipeline and the dirty oil immense tankers from China. Port Kitimat, has the most dangerous seas in the world. There was just a wind, that was over 131 km’s per hour. The wave are huge, the channel is narrow, and the dirty tankers are huge. Port Kitimat is a northern port, there are furious storms in the spring, fall, winter and even in the summer. Along the Douglas Channel are our , beautiful Orca and Humpback Whales. There are many species of creatures that call that channel home. People come from all the world over, come to see our Whales.

    There is still oil gathering on the rocks, from the Valdez oil spill, over 21 years ago. The Chinese tankers would make the Valdez spill, look like a coffee cup spill.

    The oil spill by, New Zea Land, has done a very terrible blow the marine life there. How many more rig explosions, tanker spills and pipeline bursts will it take, for common sense to trump greed?

    We appreciate the American people, who are risking jail to stop the atrocities of the dirty tar sands.

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