From The Winnipeg Free Press: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/dozens-arrested-outside-white-house-in-keystone-pipeline-protests.html
By: Lee-Anne Goodman, The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON – U.S. President Barack Obama wasn’t around to see it, but 65 protesters were arrested Saturday as they participated in a peaceful protest outside the White House aimed at pressuring him to block TransCanada’s controversial Keystone XL pipeline.
Bill McKibben, a leading American environmentalist and one of the organizers of the two-week protest, was among those arrested. Others included gay rights activist Dan Choi; Jane Hamsher, the founder of the popular liberal blog Firedoglake; and Gus Speth, a onetime environmental expert under former president Jimmy Carter.
About 100 protesters, carrying a large banner that read “Climate Change Is Not In Our National Interest,” gathered at Lafayette Square directly north of the White House on a sunny and humid Saturday morning. They chanted “hey-ho, Keystone XL has got to go” as they stood on the sidewalk that runs along the White House’s wrought-iron fence.
When they didn’t respond to requests to move from the sidewalk, U.S. Park Police and SWAT officers handcuffed them and removed them from the area one after the other.
Obama, meantime, was vacationing with his family in Martha’s Vineyard.
But when he returns late next week, the protesters say they’ll still be there to protest a Canadian project that has become a lightning rod for the U.S. environmental movement in the wake of failed climate change legislation once passionately promoted by Obama.
“It’s not the easiest thing on Earth for law-abiding folk to come to risk arrest,” McKibben said before his arrest.
“But this pipeline has emerged as the single clear test of the president’s willingness to fight for the environment. So I wore my Obama ’08 button, and I carry a great deal of hope in my heart that we will see that old Obama emerge.”
Continue reading at: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/dozens-arrested-outside-white-house-in-keystone-pipeline-protests.html
From Tar Sands Action Org: http://www.tarsandsaction.org/fifty-more-americans-arrested-at-white-house-on-day-2-of-sit-in-over-oil-pipeline/
For immediate release
August 21, 2011
Fifty More Americans Arrested At White House on Day 2 of Sit-in Over Oil Pipeline
WASHINGTON – Fifty more Americans were arrested this morning at the White House as fifty of their fellow protestors were held in jail in an attempt to “deter future participants” (1) from participating in an ongoing sit-in at the White House to push President Obama to deny the permit for a massive new tar sands oil pipeline.
Writer and environmentalist Bill McKibben, who is spearheading the protests, sent a message from jail last night, “The only thing we need is more company. We don’t need your sympathy, we need more company.”
This morning’s sit-in featured participants from as far away as Montana and North Dakota to risk arrest defending their air, water and climate. A group of doctors from Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility wore their white lab coats as they stood at the White House fence waiting to be arrested.
The ongoing protests have helped turn fight over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline into President Obama’s most important environmental decision before the 2012 election. Many of the participants in the sit-in this morning wore “Obama 2008” buttons as a statement that they want back the candidate who promise to take on climate change and help end our dependence on fossil fuels.
McKibben was amongst those arrested yesterday, along with the co-founder of NRDC and former White House official Gus Speth, gay rights activist Lt. Dan Choi, author and activist Mike Tidwell, Firedoglake founder Jane Hamsher, and many others.
“Saturday’s arrests and overnight jailings are already lighting a fire,” said Mike Tidwell, director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, who was also arrested Saturday. “More people are now inspired, determined, and committed to join. On Monday alone over 20 DC-area doctors, lawyers and students will be going to jail to chant, sing, and stop the pipeline. They’ll be joining Nebraska ranchers and others nationwide. Word is spreading.”
Harriet Korim Arnoldi, a folk musician from Cape Cod, was arrested today and she celebrated her 65th birthday in handcuffs.
1. US Park Police told event organizers that they want to “deter future participants.” A full description of the situation is at tarsandsaction.org/not-deterred