DC Indymedia reported : On the 17th of February, the "Forward on Climate" march and rally against TransCanada's racist, earth-destroying Keystone XL tar sands pipeline took place. It was the largest protest I have seen in several years, with the Tar Sands Blockade website claiming a turnout of 50,000 people. Bill McKibben also announced at the rally that the Sierra Club estimated that 50,000 people were on the march past the Whitehouse House.
From the arrival of leading elements of the march back at the Washington Monument to the arrival of the last element seemed to be in excess of an hour. One report said the march, which crammed the road from curb to curb, was strung out over a mile long.
Related: James Hansen Improptu interview at Washington March | Voices of Resistance: Four Women Tell Why They're Rallying in D.C. |
Photos - Largest Climate March in History | Fairfax Climate Watch Climate Change Rally Draws a large turnout
Portland - Climate Justice Activists in Portland, OR Occupy Exhibit for Tar Sands Profiteer ESCO Corp. | Why Organized Labor Must Stand Against the Keystone XL Pipeline
San Fransisco - Biggest Climate Change Rally in American History Brings Out Thousands in DC, San Francisco
Los Angeles - Shut It Down, Mr. President | L.A. Participates in Protesting the Keystone XL Pipeline (part 1, part 2)
Keynote speakers includes representatives of Indigneous nations directly under the gun of the Alberta tar sands mining pit. That project, worse even than any one mountaintop removal coal mine, is the single largest extractive industry project on the planet, clearly visible from space in sattelite images. Fifteen First Nations tribes in Occupied Klanada are right now suffering from epidemics of cancer and other illnesses caused by the tar sands mine fouling their drinking water. The animals on their farms are sometimes developing large numbers of cancerous tumors under their skin. All fifteen nations are effectively threatened with being wiped out if this tar sands mine is allowed to grow any larger!
That makes the Keystone XL and all othe pipeline projects designed to handle tar sands oil from "Klanada" racist projects. The Keystone XL in addition would divide remaining Lakota lands in half, and the Lakota have compared this pipeline to the railroad that undermined Red Cloud's victory over the Bozeman Trail. Red Could's War too was fought to defend Lakota land from an extractive industry: gold mining.
One newspaper in Klanada predicted that this rally could sink the Keystone XL once and for all. Pressure is building to an enormous level, Transcanada has claimed in court that the Tar Sands Blockade has cost them millions of dollars in delay and rerouting costs, and investors are getting nervous about the fate of the pipeline. Now once again Obama has been reminded that approving the pipeline will send pro-Earth voters home. Already he must consider the 2014 mid-term election, which could be tipped to the GOP if environmentalist voters vote Green or just stay home.
If Obama fails to stop the pipeline, one banner near the front of the march, by Deep Green Resistance(DGR) vowed "We will dismantle the piepline." It would be very hard to defend a 1,500 mile pipeline, just as TransCanada has batted nearly zero in keeping a storm of civil disobediance activists out of the right of way or even the pipeline itself.
Read comments at Tens of thousands march against Keystone XL tar sands pipeline (DC Indymedia)
Democracy Now put together a compilation Video of some of the speeches: Democrarcy Now - Tens of Thousands Rally to Stop Keystone XL Pipeline & Urge Obama to Move "Forward on Climate"
Speeches covered include from: Van Jones, former advisor on Green jobs to President Obama; Canadian indigenous leader Jacqueline Thomas, Chief of Saik'uz First Nation; Bill McKibben writer and activist from 350.org; Canadian actress Evangeline Lilly; Casey Camp from Ponca Nation of Oklahoma.
Canadian First Nation leader Jacqueline Thomas addresses Forward on Climate Rally
I am a mother of four and a grandmother of one, and I was raised by my own grandmother. She was a traditional medicine woman of my people. And I learned early on the value of our environment. She was known as Dr. Sophie Thomas, and she—and her words are still with me today. And what she told us was when we take care of the land, the land would take care of us. If we destroy this land, we will destroy ourselves.
I’m speaking on behalf of the Yinka Dene Alliance from northern British Columbia. And Yinka Dene translates to "People of the Earth." I am part of the Dene people from the northern reaches of the Northwest Territories, down to my cousins, the Navajo of Arizona. We formed an alliance to stop the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project, which plans to bring tar sands oil to the coast of British Columbia, which will then be put on tankers to go to the Asian markets. The Yinka Dene Alliance is opposed to irresponsible, environmental-damaging projects that puts our communities, our water, our culture, our land, our fish, our animals, and most importantly, our plants, at risk. It puts at risk my neighbors to the east of me that live at the tar sands. The government doesn’t recognize these people, and these people have been dying of mysterious cancers. Their water is polluted. Their animals are sick. And Mother Earth is sick.
Enbridge really has brought our communities together in Canada, because we’ve had oil spills, and you’ve also had oil spills in this country, because oil will spill. It’s just a matter of when. They’ve spilled in the Kalamazoo, which I hear cannot be cleaned up. They’ve broken their promises, and I understand it’s even Enbridge that has done that. They’ve spilled oil in Red Deer, Alberta. They’ve spilled oil in my sister, the territories of the Lubicon Cree. They’ve spilled oil in the Northwest Territories, the Dene brothers and sisters that I know from the Northwest Territories. And, of course, who can forget Exxon Valdez? Of course, also, in most recent memory, we have had the BP spill, which was on the news day after day, month after month. They have hurt the brothers and sisters of the Houma Nation that my sister has visited. Never in my life have I ever seen white and Native work together until now. Thank you, Enbridge, for doing this work for me.
On Sunday, February 17, while 350.org and the Sierra Club led the largest climate rally in history in Washington, D.C., their Bay Area chapters held a West Coast solidarity rally estimated at 5000 people. Another 1000 people rallied and marched in Los Angeles according to LA Indymedia.
This six-minute video shows a portion of the marchers crossing Embarcadero to Bradley Manning Plaza. Video from Veto the Keystone XL Pipeline! (San Fransisco Bay Area Indymedia)
- Image by Bora Chung / Project Survival Media /Flickr - We cannot afford more of the same timid politics...
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
- Forward on Climate Rally Feb 17, 2013. Image from LA Indymedia - Passing City Hall
by Ross Plesset Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 at 4:09 PM . Copyright: content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere.