One year ago today, four hundred student activists zip-tied themselves to the White House fence with thousands more marching in support to demand the rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline and movement towards a clean energy future. This act of civil disobedience, organized solely by youth, gained traction in the media and sent a strong message to the Obama Administration that the KXL pipeline is not in our national interest.
The night before, hundreds convened for a civil disobedience training in anticipation of putting their bodies on the line for the protection of our land. The room was filled over capacity, forcing the organizers to hold two separate trainings! The energy in the room was overwhelming, as students and activists came together from all over the country to fight for the rejection of the status quo – fossil fuels – and to instead embrace a transition to renewable energy that provides a cleaner, more equitable future for our nation and the global population.
On the morning of XL Dissent, marchers passed by Secretary of State John Kerry’s house in Georgetown and made it known that he should recommend a rejection of the pipeline. As the large group convened in front of the White House, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez of the Earth Guardians gave a rousing speech about the power that we the people hold in sparking this transition to renewables.
Last week, Barack Obama vetoed the Keystone XL pipeline bill passed by both Congress. While Congress is unlikely to overturn the veto with a two-thirds majority, our work is far from over. We must now petition the President to outright reject the pipeline once and for all and direct our country to a future of clean, renewable energy.