Skip to comments.Sixty-five arrested outside White House in oil pipeline protest
Posted on 08/20/2011 1:13:29 PM PDT by Libloather
Sixty-five arrested outside White House in oil pipeline protest
By Ben Geman - 08/20/11 02:55 PM ET
Police arrested 65 environmentalists outside the White House Saturday as they staged a demonstration urging President Obama to block a proposed pipeline that would bring oil from Canadas oil sands projects to Gulf Coast refineries.
The civil disobedience launched two-weeks of White House demonstrations with more arrests to come as activists seek to increase political pressure on Obama over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
The Obama administration is weighing TransCanada Corp.s proposed $7 billion, 1,700-mile line to bring crude from Albertas massive oil sands projects to the Texas Gulf Coast.
The pipeline needs State Department approval to proceed, and the Obama administration plans to make a decision by the end of the year.
People arrested include Bill McKibben, the prominent climate activist and founder of 350.org; Jane Hamsher, who founded the popular liberal blog Firedoglake; and Gus Speth, whose career includes co-founding the Natural Resources Defense Council and chairing the White House Council on Environmental Quality in the Carter Administration.
While police said 65 people were arrested, the protest organizers put the number at 70 in an account on their website Saturday.
On Saturday activists gathered in Lafayette Square across from the White House and walked over to the sidewalk in front of the White House fence at about 11:10 a.m., where some sat down and others stood behind them holding banners against the Keystone project.
The demonstrations and U.S. Park Police arrests were a peaceful, choreographed affair planned in advance at one point, for instance, some activists waited to take a spot in front of the fence while a few tourists finished snapping pictures in front of the White House.
About 10 minutes after the activists assembled, police cleared a wide stretch of the sidewalk, sending tourists and others away as they set up waist-high metal grates around the area.
The protesters chanted slogans like hey, ho, tar sands no! and hey hey, ho ho, Keystone XLs got to go.
Many in the demonstrating group favored khakis, blazers, ties and other garb that eschewed the overtly countercultural look of some environmental protests.
At 11:30 a.m. a member of the Park Police warned the assembled demonstrators that under regulations and laws governing the area, their permit to demonstrate on the White House sidewalk had been revoked.
People demonstrating on the sidewalk must continue moving, police said, and the stationary activists were informed that due to the violations, the sidewalk was closed and they had to leave or be arrested.
Two identical warnings followed over the next several minutes, and at roughly 11:38 a.m. the arrests started, beginning with a young woman who organizers said was from Wasilla, Alaska. Police cuffed her as her fellow activists cheered and some yelled hero, youre a hero!
Sgt. David Schlosser, a spokesman for the Park Police, said the 65 arrested demonstrators were taken to their Anacostia Station for processing. They are charged with failure to obey a lawful order, he said.
While 65 were arrested Saturday, other activists hung back as they prepare for two weeks of demonstrations and civil disobedience.
Organizers of the anti-Keystone event say they expect 2,000 people to take part over two weeks.
Advocates of the pipeline including oil industry groups lobbying hard for the project say its a jobs-heavy way to increase energy security by boosting supplies from a friendly U.S. neighbor.
But environmentalists oppose the greenhouse gas-intensive oil sands projects due to concerns about global warming and the destruction of Canadian forests, and also say the pipeline could suffer from spills that pollute U.S. water supplies.
McKibben, a key organizer of the protests, calls the Obama administration decision a referendum on the president's climate change record, noting the decision rests solely with the executive branch.
He doesnt have to go through the crazy climate deniers in Congress to be able to do the right thing, McKibben said in Lafayette Square Saturday morning.
If Barack Obama mans up, says no to this thing, it will send a surge of electricity through all of the people that voted for him three years ago. It will be the reminder of why we were so enamored of this guy in 2008, McKibben said.
Speth said that more broadly he wants Obama to focus more heavily on climate change.
If he doesnt do anything about it in the 2012 campaign, what mandate is he going to have in 2013 to act on it, said Speth, who is now on the faculty of Vermont Law School and was administrator of the United Nations Development Programme in the 1990s.
two-weeks of White House demonstrations
Pssssst. The rookie Hussein will be at Martha's Vineyard the whole time, ya frickin' jackwagons.
Wouldn’t it just be easier to build a refinery closer and ship the finished product?
So, who's paying their tab??
They came to annoy vacationing folks...that's what it's all about these days.
This pipeline has to go in. Better yet, build refineries right over the border in the U.S.
Look at those, Filthy Commie chitbags!
65 of Algore’s Kids sent to the clink. Environmentalism is a mental disorder. LOL!
Your tax dollars at work. Anyone still want to argue we cannot balance the budget without tax hikes?
65 doesn’t sound that big after all the Tea Party events. Most of them look like union bosses. Likely paid time and a half.
Pray for America
No, you would still need a pipeline to ship the finished products.
the 65 arrested demonstrators were taken to their Anacostia Station for processing
to be given their lunch vouchers ,bus passes and the bonus money
From the picture it looks like they arrests all the people who showed up for this nonsense event
1) Supply source, as in near the wells or at the end of a pipeline.
2) Near the destination market or near a pipeline that serves the destination market.
3) Close to industry and service companies that sell to and service the refinery industry.
Ship them all up to Martha’s Vineyard in Obama’s new bus’s,
They can protest up there.
I am sure they might get a real close encounter with him at the ice cream stand.
These are what anti-American, anti-capitalist, well, this is what communists look like.
Honestly, if I was President I wouldn’t approve this either......
The reason for all the excess capacity in Texas Refiners is because the big dolt in the Whitehouse right now won’t let us drill for oil in the gulf!
In other works, the dolt created the problem in the first place.
only 65 arrested? I was hoping for 650. Maybe only 66 showed up.I hope they clean up after themselves.
Does barry soetoro know about this protest? why isn’t he cancelling his vacation? doesn’t he care? doesn’t he know this is extremely important stuff?
PS: why does that logo have shark fins?
I only say this because of the ENORMOUS political benefit to the GOP and because I know it would not stand for more than 17 months.
Wow, what a great campaign issue it would be.
It's the new dem 'rent a crowd' technique...
The USA don’t need no stenkin oil, and sure don’t need no stenkin revenue, I thought everyone knew that.