Police Arrest Hundreds at White House Keystone Pipeline Protest

Danayit Musse

Nearly 400 people—many of them students—protesting the Keystone XL pipeline were arrested outside the White House on Sunday. The protest, which began at Georgetown before continuing to the White House, was organized by XL Dissent, a student-led organization that believes “the decision on Keystone XL will be the definitive test of President Obama’s character and integrity.” The Chicago Tribune reports: Organizers estimated 1,000 people protested and said several hundred agreed to risk arrest by refusing to leave the sidewalk in front of the White House. Citing U.S. Park Police figures, the organizers said later that almost 400 people were arrested. "If the Democratic Party wants to keep our vote, they better make sure President Obama rejects that pipeline," said Nick Stracco, a 23-year-old student at Tulane University in New Orleans… Organizers said they intended to remind the White House that young people are a key voting demographic of the president's party and their peers do not want to inherit environmental damage caused by current leaders. "Our future is on the line. The climate is on the line," said Aly Johnson-Kurts, 20, who is taking a year off from Smith College in Massachusetts. She said she had decided to get arrested on Sunday. "When do we say we've had enough?" According to Politico, the protestors locked themselves to the White House gate using plastic zip ties, chanting phrases like “Hey, Obama, we don’t want no pipeline drama." Others held signs that read “There is no planet B” and “Columbia [University] says no to fossil fuels.”

Danayit Musse is a Spring 2014 editorial intern.
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