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.
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.
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.