Daryl Hannah leads celebrity Keystone XL protest at White House gates

From The Guardian UK:   http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/feb/13/daryl-hannah-keystone-xl-protest-obama

Fifty people detained by police after handcuffing themselves to gates to demand that Obama shuts down pipeline project

US environment corespondent
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 13 February 2013

A celebrity roster of protesters, including climate scientist James Hansen, actor Daryl Hannah, civil rights leader Julian Bond and environmental advocate Robert Kennedy Jr, were arrested on Wednesday after handcuffing themselves to the gates of the White House to demand that Barack Obama shut down the Keystone XL pipeline project.

In all, about 50 people were detained. The protests, while entirely orderly and co-ordinated in advance with local police, delivered a sharp reminder to Obama the morning after his state of the union address of the enormous political challenges ahead as he tries to make good on his promise to act on climate change.

Other campaign groups vied for Obama’s attention on Wednesday. The Natural Resources Defense Council and the League of Conservation Voters released separate polls showing a majority of the American public – roughly two-thirds in both polls – wanted Obama to act on climate. Democratic senators are preparing to formally launch a new attempt at climate legislation on Thursday. None of those issues, however, are as immediately problematic for Obama as the Keystone XL project.

Obama did not mention Keystone XL in the state of the union speech. But the pipeline has become one of the most contentious issues on his second-term agenda, a touchstone for environmental campaigners. To protesters, the project has become the defining symbol of Obama’s promises to cut the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

“The Keystone pipeline project is the purest test of whether the president is serious about doing something about climate change or not,” the author Bill McKibben, whose 350.org group has led opposition to the project, told a few hundred protesters outside the White House.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/feb/13/daryl-hannah-keystone-xl-protest-obama

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